Friday, April 3, 2015

New Jersey and Oregon Fight Anti-Unilateral Pricing Programs for Contact Lenses

"Oregon has become a battleground," reports "'As more and more consumers figure out what's going on, they're going to be more and more outraged,' said Bryan Kohler, a lobbyist for 1-800 Contacts. The company is pushing legislation in Oregon that would stop contact lens makers from setting a minimum price on contacts. Over the past year and a half, all four major contact lens manufacturers enacted policies that restrict what retailers can charge for contact lenses. These new minimum pricing policies mean discounters like 1-800 Contacts and Costco can no longer sell contacts at a lower price than their competitors. Costco argues these new policies are anti-competitive because they limit buying choices for the roughly 39 million Americans who wear contacts." Read more.

In New Jersey, "putative class action suit filed in federal court in Newark accuses four manufacturers and a distributor of disposable contact lenses of conspiring to eliminate price competition by entering into illegal resale price maintenance agreements with retailers," reports a NJ Law Journal post. Read more.

These two states join a growing list of states looking to ban unilateral pricing programs, such as Idaho, Illinois, and California. and Utah, which has already signed a ban into law.

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