U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee Holding Antitrust Hearing Today on Pricing and Competition in CL Industry

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee is holding a hearing this afternoon here on pricing and competition in the contact lens industry. The title of the hearing session, posted on the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee’s website, is “Pricing Policies and Competition in the Contact Lens Industry: Is What You See What You Get?”

The hearing, scheduled for 2:15 pm E.T. today in Room 226 of the Dirksen building here, will be presided by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT), chairman and ranking member of the subcommittee, respectively. The meeting will be webcast and available on the Judicial Committee’s site later.

Certain contact lens manufacturers have begun implementing “Unilateral Price Policies” (UPP) recently that require retailers to sell certain contact lenses at or above a set price. The hearing will examine whether these policies decrease competition and lead to higher prices for consumers by eliminating the ability of retailers to discount.

Witnesses at the hearing are scheduled to include: R. Joe Zeidner, general counsel, 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc.;  Millicent Knight, OD, CHC, FAARM, head of professional affairs, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, North America; David Cockrell, OD, president, American Optometric Association; and George Slover, senior policy counsel, Consumers Union.

VMail will continue to cover the hearing and related issues as further details become available.