Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is fighting back against a longtime corporate-sabotage campaign undertaken by grocery competitors to slow its growth.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer recently asked judges to require its opponents to disclose who is footing the legal bills in four out of the dozens of California lawsuits against Wal-Mart that have helped delay the company's expansion.
Lawyers for Wal-Mart want to know if the protracted environmental suits have been funded not by grass-roots activists, as the company long thought, but rather by competitors. "We believe the court and the community have a right to know who is funding the suits," said Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar.
Of course, the First Amendment protects the rights of people and firms to engage in this kind of advocacy:
"The work we do helps to level the playing field as regular citizens try to fight back against the world's largest retailer and the impact of big-box development in their communities," Mr. Fox said.