numbers needed to support this contention, defendants ultimately agreed to do so under seal, and their submissions further undermine plaintiff's contention that their rates are non-compensatory and unreasonably low. Accordingly, the Court finds that plaintiff has not made a substantial showing on the merits, as is required in order to obtain preliminary injunctive relief.
B. PLAINTIFF HAS NOT SUFFICIENTLY SHOWN THAT IT WILL SUFFER IRREPARABLE INJURY IF RELIEF IS DENIED.
Plaintiff claims that it will not get any MSC business under the Round 2 contract. It then proceeds to argue that because such business constituted 72% of its operations during its first three months of existence, it will be forced out of business if the contract goes through. In support of this, plaintiff has submitted a single affidavit by its president. As defendants argue, however, this affidavit does not convincingly demonstrate that plaintiff "will be out of business by the end of 1983" if the contract goes through. Plaintiff does have some other business, and also the contract for the next Round of MSC bidding will be awarded well before the end of 1983. Irreparability of injury is a very high standard; but, in order for plaintiff to obtain preliminary injunctive relief, the injury it alleges simply has to be irreparable. See Sampson v. Murray, 415 U.S. 61, 39 L. Ed. 2d 166, 94 S. Ct. 937 (1974). It is important to note that plaintiff is also presently seeking relief from both the FMC and a Contracting Officer under the Contract Disputes Act. Although both sides concede that these administrative processes may take some time, plaintiff clearly is not without any recourse at law.
Accordingly, the Court finds that plaintiff has not sufficiently demonstrated that denial of preliminary injunctive relief will result in irreparable injury.
C. ALTHOUGH THE BALANCE OF INJURY MAY FAVOR PLAINTIFF, THIS ALONE IS NOT ENOUGH TO SUPPORT A PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION.
Plaintiff is a small, new competitor that depends for much business on the contracts involved here. Defendants are large, well-established carriers with numerous other sources of business that would indeed continue to share part of the contract even if the requested preliminary injunction were granted. This alone, however, is not sufficient to support the relief requested. The interests of other parties, such as the MSC, must also be taken into account. If the injunction were granted, it is not clear at what rates plaintiff would be allowed to book cargo. Both plaintiff's Round 1 and Round 2 bids are substantially higher than the rates the MSC will have to pay defendants under the new contract; and this would harm the MSC. And again, even if this does not tip the balance of injury against plaintiff, balance of injury alone is not sufficient to support the grant of preliminary injunctive relief.
D. THE PUBLIC INTEREST DOES NOT PLAINLY FAVOR THE GRANT OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIVE RELIEF TO PLAINTIFF.
Plaintiff cites several statutes to support the view that there is a public interest in increased competition in the military transport business. Defendants counter that there is a public interest in paying less for military transport, as the government would do under the Round 2 contract, and also in having a competitive bidding process that is not repeatedly judicially upset. In the Court's view, it is indeed contrary to the public interest to impair the integrity of the competitive bidding process. See M. Steinthal & Co., Inc. v. Seamans, 147 U.S. App. D.C. 221, 455 F.2d 1289, 1301 (D.C. Cir. 1971). Accordingly, the Court finds that the public interest does not plainly favor the grant of preliminary injunctive relief to plaintiff.
While the Court regrets the economic harm that may befall plaintiff when the Round 2 contract goes into effect, the Court is bound by the strict standards that have been established for the grant or denial of preliminary injunctive relief. Plaintiff simply has not satisfied these exacting standards, and thus the Court shall enter an order, of even date herewith, denying plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. In accordance with the agreement of the parties, this action shall also hereby be dismissed.
For the reasons stated in the accompanying memorandum opinion, it is, by the Court, this 25 day of March, 1983,
ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction is denied, and it is
FURTHER ORDERED, by agreement of the parties, that this action is hereby dismissed.