Report: Keurig developing new coffee makers to lock out cheap refill market

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Keurig is working on a next generation of coffee makers that can recognize refill pods and reject cheap alternatives, according to a report by TechDirt.com.

The plans were discovered when TreeHouse Foods filed a lawsuit against Green Mountain/Keurig claiming the company has been striking “exclusionary” agreements with suppliers and distributors to push competitors out of the market.

The lawsuit claims Keurig is making a coffee maker with a DRM so that only Keurig’s pods would work in the machines.

“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,” the lawsuit reads. “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.