Essilor and Bausch + Lomb among those paying $3.5 million.
China last week fined Johnson & Johnson, Nikon Corp and five other makers of eyeglasses and contact lenses on price-fixing charges in its latest effort to use anti-monopoly law to control consumer prices. Manufacturers were fined a total of $3.35 million for setting minimum prices for retailers and limiting their ability to offer discounts. Other companies fined included Essilor International SA of France, Germany's Car Zeiss AG, Hoya Corp. and Bausch + Lomb, owned by Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. One Chinese company was fined, Shanghai Weicon Optics Co. Setting minimum prices is common in some markets to help companies maintain an image as a premium brand. But lawyers say Chinese regulators appear to regard such limits on distributors as illegal.