Resources and Publications

Public Versus Private Restraints on the Online Distribution of Contact Lenses: A Distinction Without a Difference

July 10, 2006
| Reports

An increasing share of consumers purchase contact lenses online, enjoying considerable savings. But if optometrists, working with contact lens manufacturers, have their way, few consumers will be able to do so, because optometrists are increasingly prescribing doctors’-only lenses that patients cannot buy online. ITIF President Rob Atkinson argues that private restraints instigated by manufacturers on behalf of optometrists to limit the online sale of contact lenses are anti-competitive and anti-consumer, and that the government should step in to address this market abuse.

These comments are in response to "Public versus Private Restraints on the Online Distribution of Contact Lenses: A Distinction with a Difference," presented by James Cooper of the Federal Trade Commission at the George Mason University Mercatus Center symposium on "Anticompetitive Barriers to E-Commerce," May 24, 2006.