Patterson Companies has reached a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding an administrative complaint filed by the FTC concerning alleged conduct in 2013, the company reports.
The complaint claimed that Patterson Companies conspired with Benco Dental Supply Company and Henry Schein to refuse to provide discounts to or otherwise serve buying groups representing dental practitioners.
The FTC ultimately dismissed the charges against Henry Schein but held that Patterson and Benco violated federal antitrust laws. Benco has declined to appeal the FTC’s decision.
Patterson notes that the FTC did not reach a final determination regarding Patterson’s alleged conduct. Instead, Patterson and the FTC agreed not to appeal the administrative law judge’s initial recommendation.
Also, Patterson has agreed to abide by the terms of the administrative law judge’s proposed remedial order, which did not impose any monetary fine on the company or require an outside monitor.
While Patterson disagreed with the administrative law judge’s findings and believed it had meritorious grounds to appeal the initial decision, the company determined that, for business reasons, a settlement was in its best interest.
Patterson continues to categorically deny any wrongdoing and believes that the facts and mainstream legal precedent demonstrate its independent and lawful decision-making in a highly competitive industry.
Under the terms of the agreement, Patterson will maintain its ongoing personnel training on antitrust laws and continue making independent decisions with regard to buying groups.