Synergetics USA, Inc. has settled the antitrust lawsuit it had filed against Alcon Laboratories, Inc. and Alcon, Inc. Synergetics entered into a Settlement and Licensing Agreement and a Supply Agreement with Alcon, pursuant to which all litigation between the companies would be resolved and Alcon would receive a license to sell certain Synergetics-patented products. Alcon will pay Synergetics $32 million under the settlement.

Synergetics, a relatively small company, took on a much larger and more powerful competitor in this case. Synergetics and Alcon compete in the sale of light sources and instruments and tools used in vitreoretinal surgery, a highly specialized area of ophthalmological surgery focusing on procedures in the posterior (back) portion of the eye. Surgeons use a primary piece of equipment known as a vitrectomy machine to perform vitreoretinal procedures.

The antitrust lawsuit was filed in a New York federal court in April, 2008. The suit alleged that Alcon engaged in certain anti-competitive conduct in the market for vitreoretinal surgical equipment and supplies. Synergetics’ allegations included that Alcon used the market power enjoyed by its vitrectomy machine in an unlawful manner, forcing surgeons to purchase from Alcon the ancillary instruments, tools, and external light sources used in vitreoretinal surgeries. Most notably, Synergetics alleged that Alcon unlawfully tied the sale of its fiberoptic illuminator to the sale of single-use disposable cassettes necessary to operate the Alcon vitrectomy machine.

The law firm of Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC of East Alton, Illinois, and Hanly Conroy Bierstein Sheridan Fisher & Hayes LLP of New York, handled the case for the Plaintiff and they did a very good job.

Source: News Release from the Simmons Law Firm

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