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States charge price fixing in contact lens business

contact December 19, 1996
Web posted at 11:55 p.m. EST

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Twenty-two states filed a federal lawsuit Thursday alleging major manufacturers of contact lenses and optometrists conspired to fix consumer prices.

The suit, filed in New York, is similar to previous claims made by the state of Florida. Among the states joining New York Thursday: Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, Massachusetts and Ohio.

The suit names as defendants Johnson & Johnson Vision Products, Bausch & Lomb, and CIBA Vision. It also names as defendants optometrist trade associations and certain optometrists.

The key allegation: optometrists pressured the manufacturers to join in two interwoven conspiracies to keep prices of contact lenses artificially high.


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