FTC Approves Final Order with Parent Company of Bausch + Lomb

Order with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. preserves U.S. competition in markets for discs used to make 3 types of contact lenses

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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Bausch + Lomb parent company Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. illegally acquired Paragon Holdings I, Inc.

Prior to the 2015 acquisition, both Valeant and an independent Paragon produced polymer discs, or “buttons,” used to make rigid gas permeable, or “GP,” contact lenses. The FTC alleged that Valeant’s acquisition of Paragon eliminated competition between the two companies for the sale of FDA-approved buttons used for three types of GP lenses. The acquisition combined the two largest manufacturers of GP buttons, accounting for more than 70 percent of U.S. sales across all three button types according to the complaint. The FTC also alleged that following Valeant’s acquisition of Paragon, the company used its market power to increase prices, reduce volume discounts, decrease innovation, and reduce product distribution options in each button market.

First announced in November 2016, the order required Valeant to sell Paragon in its entirety to a newly created entity, Paragon Companies LLC, which also would acquire the assets of Pelican Products LLC. Pelican – a contact lens packaging manufacturer that Valeant acquired after it bought Paragon – was the only producer of FDA-approved vials used for shipping some finished GP lenses.

The Commission vote approving the final order was 3-0. (FTC File No. 151 0236; the staff contact is Charles Harwood, Director, Northwest Regional Office, 206-220-4480.)

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