TravelCenters of America LLC (NYSE: TA) today announced that it has entered a memorandum of understanding to settle a long running, civil, class action, antitrust case titled Marchbanks Truck Service, Inc., et al. vs. Comdata Network, Inc., et al. pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In this case, the plaintiffs alleged antitrust violations arising from Comdata’s contractual relations with truck stop operators. Comdata, its parent company, TA and other chain operators of travel centers, Pilot Travel Centers LLC and Love’s Travel Stop and Country Stores, Inc., were named as defendants. All of the defendants in this case have entered settlement memorandums which, if completed, will result in aggregate payments by all defendants totaling $130 million, including $10 million to be paid by TA. The settlement by certain other defendants is expected also to result in certain non-monetary consideration in the form of changes in Comdata’s enforcement of its contracts, none of which TA believes will be detrimental to TA’s business.
TA determined to enter this settlement in order to avoid the expense and distraction of this continuing litigation, especially because certain other defendants determined to settle separately which likely would have increased TA’s costs of continuing litigation. TA expects the $10 million settlement will be recorded as a charge to earnings in the fourth quarter of 2013.
The settlement described in this press release is not yet consummated. The terms outlined in the memorandum of understanding that TA has entered is subject to the parties concluding a definitive settlement agreement which must be presented to the Court for approval pursuant to the requirements for settlement of a civil class action.
About TravelCenters of America LLCTA primarily operates and franchises travel centers under the “TravelCenters of America”, “TA”, “Petro Stopping Centers” and “Petro” brand names that offer diesel and gasoline fueling, restaurants, truck repair facilities, stores and other services. TA also operates convenience stores primarily in Kentucky and Tennessee under the brand name “Minit Mart”. TA’s nationwide business includes locations in 42 U.S. states and in Canada.