1-800 Contacts Battled Anti-Trust and Fraud Allegations; Settlement Now Available
1-800 Contacts ended their battle against an Anti-Trust and Fraud Class Lawsuit with a $40 million combined Class Action Settlement with several contacts providers.
Consumers alleged that 1-800 Contacts and other contact companies had illegally entered into anti-competitive agreements which made sure that they would not compete against one another in online advertising tactics such as different trademarks and certain SEO keywords. This practice is in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. §1.
Furthermore, the companies allegedly agreed to use “negative keywords” prohibiting their pages from showing up on searches for other company trademarks.
The 1-800 Contacts Class Action claims that “in particular, 1-800 Contacts abused its monopoly power and entered into bilateral agreements with each of its competitors/co-conspirators to not bid against each other in advertising auctions conducted by internet search engines.”
It was also alleged that online advertising “is an effective tool for allowing e-commerce retailers to market directly to consumers at the moment the consumer is interested in making a purchase or expressed an interest in a particular item”.
These agreements reportedly denied consumers the ability to search online advertisements for the best deals when looking for contacts, which resulted in the payment of higher prices for contact lenses.
The claims were reportedly brought on a federal level by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC found 1-800 Contacts guilty of an antitrust agreement – this decision is, reportedly, being appealed.
1-800 Contacts denied any wrongdoing, but have agreed to settle the claims against them with a $40 million settlement.
The 1-800 Contact Settlement contributions are broken down as follows:
- 1-800 Contacts will contribute $15.2 million
- Walgreens and Vision Direct will contribute $12 million
- AC Lens and National Vision will contribute $7 million
- Luxottica will contribute $5.9 million
The settlement will provide cash payments which will be distributed among the Class Members based on the total purchases made by consumers.
Those who made at least one online purchase of contact lenses from: 1-800 from Jan. 1, 2004 to Sept. 12, 2019; Vision Direct, Inc., Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., Walgreen Co. from Jan. 1, 2004 to Sept. 12, 2019; Arlington Contact Lens Service Inc. or National Vision Inc. from March 10, 2010 to Sept. 19, 2017; or Luxottica of America Inc. from Dec. 23, 2013 to July 5, 2019 are eligible to claim payment. Valid claim forms must be filed by Dec. 4, 2020. The settlement administrator may require documentation of purchases.
The deadline for exclusion and objection is Sept. 21, 2020, with the final approval hearing for the 1-800 Contacts settlement scheduled for Oct. 20, 2020.
If you’re an affected 1-800 Contacts customer, we’d love to hear your story!
Editor’s note on the 1-800 Contacts Class Action Settlement:
This piece is written about the recent 1-800 Contacts Class Action Settlement. If you are considered eligible to be among the class of consumers described in the class action lawsuit settlement, you may eventually be able to participate in receiving any compensation the court may award.
If you believe that what is alleged in the 1-800 Contacts class action settlement has affected you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you take a step in the right direction, fight this issue, and better enable you to join in on any potential consumer class action. If interested, please send an email to Outreach@ConsiderTheConsumer.com, find us on Twitter or Facebook, or even connect with us directly on our website! We look forward to hearing from you all.
Similarly, please check out our current list of Class Actions and Class Action Investigations, here.
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