updated 04:50 pm EDT, Thu September 23, 2010
Savant files antitrust lawsuit against Crestron
Savant chose the start of the CEDIA home theater expo to sue Crestron for allegedly using illegal strategies to dominate home theater automation. The Massachusetts-based lawsuit accused Crestron of violating antitrust laws by reaching agreements that deliberately prevented dealers from selling Savant hardware. Crestron is said to have not only made exclusive deals with stores but actively threatening non-exclusive dealers that might carry Savant gear.
Crestron's marketing has also been accused of publishing "knowingly false" information about Savant's devices to scare customers away, the plaintiff company said. Savant characterized Crestron as having a monopoly that it was trying to protect.
Officials from Crestron haven't commented on the lawsuit.
Savant is relatively new to home automation but has earned a reputation for undermining traditionally expensive home theater competitors like Crestron. It's been willing to use iOS devices as substitutes for proprietary remote controls to manage home theaters, lighting and security, in many cases saving several hundred dollars or more.