A recent lawsuit alleges a conspiracy among manufacturers Coopervision, Inc., Alcon Laboratories, Inc., Bausch & Lomb Inc., and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., with distributor ABB/Con-Cise Optical Group LLC, to fix the prices of disposable contact lenses. These four manufacturers are alleged to hold 97% of the market for disposable contact lenses. It is further alleged that they use ABB/Con-Cise, the largest distributor, to hold their monopoly through the use of price floors. Price floors typically establish minimum prices the reseller can advertise or sell a particular good. It is alleged that if a retailer violates the price floor set by these four manufacturers, then they allegedly threaten to cease supplying that retailer with disposable contact lenses. The lawsuit alleges that the purpose of these price floors was to artificially keep the price of contact lenses to consumers high and stifle competition between independent eye care professional retailers on the one hand and big-box stores with vision care centers (e.g., Wal-Mart), internet retailers (e.g., 1-800 CONTACTS), and warehouse clubs (e.g., Costco), which typically charge about 30% less for the same contact lenses sold by independent eye care professional retailers.
If you think you may have overpaid for your contact lenses, please contact us to learn more about your legal rights.