Lynda Jones- President
Brandi Bilyeu- President-Elect
Joe Maycock- Treasurer
Jonathan Hartley- Director
Dana Day- Past President
New WOA Member Benefit
The WOA Board was excited to announce a new member benefit for Wyoming OD's who are members of the WOA.
Beginning this year, all member doctors will receive a listing on the Think About Your Eyes doctor locator. This is a $250 value! TAYE is the national awareness campaign designed to promote eye examinations. To see more about TAYE go to: http://thinkaboutyoureyes.com/
We are in the process of doing the paperwork to get you all enrolled. Please go online and make sure your profile on the WOA website is up to date.
This is where I will be getting the most current information to sign you up for the TAYE subscription.
Watch for more details this fall about the program and how you can promote it on your own websites.
Amy Aldrich- 4th
Carl Cottrell- 11th
Carla Shoults- 14th
Marty Carroll- 20th
Levi Porter- 27th
Early Bird Registration for GWCO ends August 16th!
WOA Membership approve bylaws change
WOA members approved a bylaw change at the recent meeting held at NROC. The WOA Board will now be comprised of seven (7) members. No other changes were made to the process of election, terms, etc.
FTC Sues 1-800 Contacts
AOA Statement Regarding FTC Suit Against 1-800 Contacts
Andrea Thau, OD
President, American Optometric Association
The American Optometric Association (AOA) has been a long-time advocate against the abusive and illegal practices internet contact lens sellers use, especially those that can lead to patient harm and result in added health care costs. AOA commends the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for taking action and filing suit against 1-800 Contacts today. The FTC accuses 1-800 Contacts of maintaining a “web of anticompetitive agreements” to suppress competition – agreements that harm patients byrestricting internet advertising by competing sellers, resulting in some consumers paying higher retail prices for contact lenses.
AOA and our coalition partners will continue to fight against these retailers and hold sellers accountable, including supporting the Contact Lens Consumer Health Protection Act (S.2777) which aims to strengthen the patient health safeguards in existing federal law that have been undermined, and in certain cases even ignored.
FTC Sues 1-800 Contacts, Charging that It Harms Competition in Online Search Advertising Auctions and Restricts Truthful Advertising to Consumers
Bidding Agreements Are an Unfair Method of Competition, Agency Alleges
August 8, 2016
The Federal Trade Commission has sued 1-800 Contacts, the largest online retailer of contact lenses in the United States, alleging that it unlawfully orchestrated and now maintains a web of anticompetitive agreements with rival online contact lens sellers that suppress competition in certain online search advertising auctions and that restrict truthful and non-misleading internet advertising to consumers, resulting in some consumers paying higher retail prices for contact lenses.
According to the Federal Trade Commission’s administrative complaint, 1-800 Contacts entered into bidding agreements with at least 14 competing online contact lens retailers that eliminate competition in auctions to place advertisements on the search results page generated by online search engines such as Google and Bing. The complaint alleges that these bidding agreements unreasonably restrain price competition in internet search auctions, and restrict truthful and non-misleading advertising to consumers, constituting an unfair method of competition in violation of federal law.
1-800 Contacts objected when a computer user entered a search query that included the term “1-800 Contacts,” and the user then saw advertisements for both 1-800 Contacts and a competing seller of contact lenses. The agreements stemmed from lawsuits that 1-800 Contacts brought or threatened against numerous rivals, which accused rivals of infringing its trademarks. In almost all cases, 1-800 Contacts’ rivals agreed to sign the anticompetitive agreements to cease bidding. The complaint alleges that the bidding agreements are overly broad and not necessary to safeguard any legitimate trademark interest.
All 14 bidding agreements bar both 1-800 Contacts and each of its affected rivals from bidding for each others’ trademarked terms. Moreover, all but one also requires each party to use negative keywords designed to keep search engines from displaying one party’s advertisements in response to a search query that includes terms specified by the other party – typically trademarked terms or variations of them. These negative keywords prevent ads from 1-800 Contacts’s rivals from appearing if a user enters a query for any phrase that includes “1-800 Contacts.”
The complaint alleges that the reciprocal bidding agreements harm competition in the United States for the sale of search advertising by auction, and for the retail sale of contact lenses. The bidding agreements harm consumers, according to the complaint, by restraining competition for, and distorting the prices of, advertising in relevant online auctions, by reducing the number of relevant, useful, truthful and non-misleading advertisements, by restraining competition among online sellers of contact lenses, and in some cases, by resulting in consumers paying higher retail prices for contact lenses.
The Commission vote to issue the administrative complaint was 3-0. The administrative trial is scheduled to begin on April 11, 2017.
NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about how competition benefits consumers or file an antitrust complaint. Like the FTC on Facebook (link is external), follow us on Twitter (link is external), read our blogs and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.
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Bureau of Competition