Pod coffee maker Keurig is cracking down on unofficial suppliers for its single-serve machines by using software in its new 2.0 coffee makers to prevent unlicensed pods from working in its machines, according to a report from TechDirt.com
In a lawsuit filed against Green Mountain/Keurig, TreeHouse Foods claims Keurig has been striking “exclusionary” agreements with suppliers and distributors to push competitors out of the market.
In the lawsuit, TreeHouse Foods states Keurig’s new 2.0 coffee maker will feature a equivalent of DRM so that only Keurig’s pods will work in the coffee makers.
Green Mountain has announced a new anticompetitive plan to maintain its monopoly by redesigning its brewers to lock out competitors’ products. Such lock-out technology cannot be justified based on any purported consumer benefit, and Green Mountain itself has admitted that the lock-out technology is not essential for the new brewers’ function. Like its exclusionary agreements, this lock-out technology is intended to serve anticompetitive and unlawful ends.
In November, Keurig’s CEO said the new coffee maker will not work with “unlicensed” pods.
The move is reminiscent of printer ink companies that installed a chip that prevents unofficial refills from being installed in some printers.
The new coffee makers are expected to hit stores this fall.
Read more: TechDirt.com