AUSTIN (Legal Newsline) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced April 20 that Patterson Companies Inc., a distributor of dental supplies, will pay $200,000 after allegations of violating state antitrust laws through the operation of an illegal group boycott of an online rival.
According to allegations, Patterson colluded with Henry Schein Inc. and Benco Dental Supply Company to deny entry into the market by the Texas Dental Association (TDA), which provides dental supplies online at a lower cost. In order to eliminate TDA, the three companies allegedly worked together to discourage suppliers from working with the association. The companies purportedly agreed not to attend an annual trade show operated by the TDA in 2014.
“Conspiring with competitors to prevent the emergence of new distribution channels for goods and services is contrary to the free market and violates antitrust laws,” Paxton said in a statement. “Such interference should not be tolerated in any industry. My office will continue to ensure that companies doing business in Texas have the opportunity to compete in a truly free market.”
Paxton’s office has previously reached settlement agreements with Benco and Henry Schein.