Connect with us

Headlines

1-800 Contacts Set Up Anticompetitive Deals, FTC Commission Finds

The agreements related to bidding for search engine keywords.

mm

Published

on

The Federal Trade Commission has held that 1-800 Contacts, largest online retailer of contact lenses in the U.S., unlawfully entered into a web of anticompetitive agreements with rival online contact lens sellers.

A commission opinion authored by Chairman Joseph J. Simons ruled that the agreements between 1-800 Contacts and 14 online sellers of contact lenses constitute unfair methods of competition. The agreements prevent online contact lens retailers from bidding for search engine result ads that would inform consumers that identical products are available at lower prices.

The opinion held that the agreements harm competition in bidding for search engine keywords, artificially reducing the prices that 1-800 Contacts pays, as well as the quality of search engine results delivered to consumers. Although the opinion directly addresses restraints to search engine advertising for contact lenses, it carries broader implications for preserving competition through online advertising, according to a press release from the FTC.

The order requires 1-800 Contacts to cease and desist from enforcing the unlawful provisions in its existing agreements and from entering into similar agreements in the future. It prohibits 1-800 Contacts from agreeing with other contact lens retailers to restrict search advertising or to limit participation in search advertising auctions.

The opinion stems from an August 2016 administrative complaint. It upholds Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell’s October 2017 initial decision, which similarly found that the agreements were unfair methods of competition.

The commission vote approving the opinion and final order was 3-1-1, with Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips dissenting and Commissioner Christine S. Wilson not participating.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

SPONSORED BY VARILUX

The Best Overall Progressive Lens, Now Powered by AI

Engineered with Behavioral Artificial Intelligence and utilizing new XR-motion™ technology, Varilux XR series goes beyond prescription and eye physiology to consider the patient’s visual behavior and design a progressive lens that respects how
their eyes naturally move.

Varilux XR series comes in two versions, Varilux® XR design and Varilux® XR track. The Varilux XR track lens provides an additional level of personalization by incorporating the exclusive Near Vision Behavior Measurement, providing up to 25% more near vision width3 according to the patient’s need, so patients get the highest level of customization.

Discover Varilux XR series and enjoy instantly sharp vision in motion4 and seamless transitions from near to far.

For more information, visit here.

Promoted Headlines

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Subscribe

INVISIONMAG.COM
BULLETINS

Get the most important news and business ideas for eyecare professionals every weekday from INVISION.

Instagram

Most Popular