Henry Schein, Patterson settle 2016 antitrust litigation

Two of the dental industry's biggest distributors have settled class-action litigation charging them with trying to freeze out competitors. Both Henry Schein and Patterson Companies separately announced settlements to a March 2016 class-action lawsuit.

Patterson Companies filed Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on September 28 that stated that it had signed an agreement to settle the litigation. As noted in a previous report, the company had set aside $28.3 million for the settlement. The company denied all allegations.

Henry Schein also filed a Form 8-K with the SEC on September 28, noting that it had set aside $38.5 million for the settlement. The company repeated its denial of all allegations in the SEC filing.

The third distributor involved, Benco Dental, announced a settlement on August 30.

The class-action lawsuit (In Re Dental Supplies Antitrust Litigation) was filed in March 2016 and focused on an alleged agreement between Schein, Patterson, and Benco to fix prices, allocate customers, and foreclose competitors by boycotting manufacturers, state dental associations, and others that deal with the defendants' competitors. The lawsuit combined 33 separate lawsuits that were filed in January and February 2016.

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