- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Federal regulators have accused a Utah company of harming competition in the contact lens market by making agreements with online rivals that lead to higher consumer prices.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports (https://bit.ly/2aC1ryz ) the Federal Trade Commission said Monday it filed a complaint against 1-800 Contacts, the nation’s largest online contact lens seller.

The complaint says 1-800 Contacts filed or threatened lawsuits against competitors accusing them of violating the company’s trademarks, because internet searches that included “1-800 Contacts” also presented advertisements for the competitors.

The FTC says 1-800 Contacts then entered into agreements with competitors, requiring them to use “negative keywords” to prevent the ads from appearing.

The commission says the agreements restrict truthful and nonmisleading advertising.

Company representative Cindy Williams denied the claims and says the agreements were intended to protect 1-800 Contact’s trademark.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune, https://www.sltrib.com

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