La Crosse company celebrates ‘stunning victory,’ wins federal lawsuit

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – A small business headquartered in downtown La Crosse is celebrating a big victory.

Authenticom won a federal lawsuit against two companies that were allegedly trying to run it out of business.

The third-party, automobile data integration company mainly manages data for the automobile industry.

CDK Global and Reynolds and Reynolds are two companies that blocked Authenticom from accessing that data.

It cost the company millions of dollars and a major loss in profits, but the company and its staff are celebrating the federal court ruling.

Staff and the CEO of Authenticom are feeling relieved knowing their jobs aren’t going anywhere.

“You know the anti competitive actions of the defendants were such that it made life difficult,” said Authenticom CEO Steve Cottrell.

Efforts from companies CDK and Reynolds and Reynolds to control and block Authenticom’s access to dealership data, left the company in a financial struggle.

But Madison based Judge James Peterson granted a preliminary injunction against CDK Global and Reynolds and Reynolds.

Representative Ron Kind called the companies’ actions ‘unfair practices,’ saying they prevented Authenticom from growing as a company.

“Created a lot of uncertainty for the company, and hopefully that is now clearing for them.”

Former president Barack Obama praised the company back in 2015, calling it one of the fastest growing private companies in America.

Representative Kind says he’s thankful for the country’s democracy, emphasizing the importance of a fair and just judicial system.

“Where you can go before an impartial judge or jury and they can decide the facts a long with the law of whether or not you were wrongly treated, and that’s exactly how this process worked out for Authenticom.”

Cottrell says despite the threat to the company’s existence altogether, it’s the staff and the customers that have helped keep the company going.

“The real credit goes to you know the people here at Authenticom and ultimately to our customers you know for sticking through these hard times.”

Authenticom was basing its case on the Sherman Antitrust Act, which outlaws business monopolies.

The act was passed in 1890.

Authenticom currently employs about 110 people.


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