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Quixtar suing 30 people over Internet postings

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — Direct-marketing firm Quixtar Inc., a sister company of Amway Corp., has sued 30 people who anonymously posted what it considers disparaging remarks about Quixtar in blogs and online forums and in videos.

In the lawsuit filed this past week in Ottawa County Circuit Court, Quixtar seeks an injunction and damages of more than $25,000 against the posters, identified only as John Does.

Quixtar believes the videos and other postings are part of an organized effort by former distributors who unsuccessfully sued Alticor and are under court order not to disparage the company or disclose proprietary information, according to the lawsuit.

In one video the lawsuit cites, a man wearing a shirt that says "Property of Quixtar" rants about the company. In another, a man points out products at a grocery store priced much lower than comparable Quixtar products.

Quixtar plans to ask for permission to subpoena various online companies to figure out who posted the materials, spokesman Rob Zeiger said.

Quixtar develops and manufactures nutrition, beauty and cleaning products that are marketed through a tiered selling system. Parent company Alticor Inc. uses the Quixtar name for its U.S. and Canadian direct sales unit and sells products throughout the rest of the world as Amway Corp.