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Federal Trade Commission Brings Antitrust Charges Against Visx, Summit

Photonics Spectra
May 1998
The Federal Trade Commission has started an administrative enforcement proceeding against Summit Technology Inc. in Waltham, Mass., and Visx Inc. in Santa Clara, Calif.
The proceeding is related to a complaint that accuses the firms of improperly sharing fees charged to doctors who use equipment made by either company.
Visx and Summit make the only two FDA-approved laser systems used in a medical procedure known as photorefractive keratectomy, which corrects nearsightedness by reshaping the cornea.
Each time a system is used, the doctor is billed $250.
Several years ago, the two firms allegedly set up a third company, Pillar Point Partners, to split the usage fees. The commission is asking that Pillar Point Partners be disbanded.
A Federal Trade Commission law judge scheduled a hearing for April 16. The judge has the authority to stop any practices found to be illegal.
A source at Summit confirmed the commission's proceeding and said the company planned to defend itself against the charges.

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