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In Brief: Contact lens antitrust suit

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Contact lens antitrust suit: Filed by 22 states in Brooklyn District Court Dec. 19 against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Vistakon, Bausch & Lomb, Ciba Vision Corp., the American Optometric Association and individual optometrists. The suit alleges the defendants violated federal and state antitrust laws by limiting lens sales to licensed eye professionals, thereby restricting competition in the sale of soft contact lenses by not selling to mail-order firms, pharmacies, buying clubs or department stores. CIBA says it is "dismayed" by the allegations in light of a two-year investigation by the State of Florida which the firms says "found no evidence that [it] had violated antitrust laws," and vows to "vigorously defend" itself. Bausch & Lomb also says it will defend its policy...

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