FTC sues 1-800 Contacts over online search advertising

By Diane Bartz WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. antitrust enforcers filed a complaint against 1-800 Contacts on Monday, alleging that the online contact lens seller reached agreements with 14 rivals which would hamper consumers seeking to compare prices. The Federal Trade Commission alleged in an administrative complaint that 1-800 Contacts had reached agreements with 14 other online contact lens retailers that they would not advertise to customers who had searched online for 1-800 Contacts. “1-800 Contacts has aggressively policed the bidding agreements, complaining to competitors when the company has suspected a violation, threatening further litigation, and demanding compliance,” the complaint said.

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