The Ftc Eyeballs Laser Surgery
LASER SURGERY TO CORRECT NEARSIGHTEDNESS has the Federal Trade Commission seeing red. On Mar. 24, in an administrative complaint, the FTC charged that Summit Technology and VISX used a price-fixing scheme to overcharge consumers by $30 million in 1997. The companies are the only ones approved by the FDA to provide the lasers used in the procedure. But instead of competing, the FTC says, they formed a partnership to share patents and doctors' licensing fees. As a result, the FTC says they have been reaping monopoly profits. Both companies deny the allegations. They are also suing each other over strains in the partnership, which the FTC wants to dissolve.