According to an article featured on glassBYTES.com, the number of automotive glass company owners, technicians and vendors who have signed a petition called “Auto Glass Industry National Right to Fair Trade Petition” has doubled since early this month.
As body shop owners have constantly battled steering, so too has the auto glass industry, which is trying to put the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division’s focus on the 1963 Consent Decree, which was written and signed in 1963 to eliminate insurance company manipulations of the collision repair marketplace.
In 1963, the U.S. Department of Justice, under the direction of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, investigated the concerns of the collision repair industry and found that 265 insurance companies were in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. To put an end to this behavior, a Federal Antitrust Consent Order was signed on Oct. 23 of that same year.
Many collision repairers and glass professionals feel, however, that enforcement of the Consent Decree since 1963 has been nonexistent, and as a result, insurance companies have been able to control the prices they pay for collision and glass repair and also violate consumers’ rights.
Glass professionals who sign the petition can also leave comments. One from Frankie Burkett of South Carolina reads, “This situation is definitely taking business from the smaller glass shops. When a customer calls to report their claim, they are connected to Safelite Solutions to set up an appointment. Most customers are not given the option to select another glass shop. This is unfair trade.”