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Invisalign Maker Must Face Antitrust Case Judge Rules

 |  April 11, 2021

Align Technology lost its bid to escape antitrust claims brought by dentists in a San Francisco federal court over its industry-leading Invisalign dental clear aligners and the mouth scanners used to make them, reported Bloomberg Law.

Judge Vince Chhabria let the case advance Thursday, April 8, with allegations that Align cornered the aligner and scanner markets by ending a partnership with its only major rival, Danish manufacturer 3Shape Trios A/S, and instituting a series of “extreme” discounts for volume buyers.

3Shape alleges that Align’s conduct has harmed competition in the intraoral scanner for orthodontic treatment and clear aligner markets by excluding rivals, increasing barriers to entry, and imposing costs on rivals. This conduct makes it more difficult for rivals to compete, 3Shape continued, resulting in less consumer choice and higher consumer cost.

These higher costs fall on the doctors who need to purchase intraoral scanners and provide clear aligners as well as on patients who seek affordable clear aligner treatment, 3Shape stated. As a result, many people are paying more than necessary or missing out on treatment that isn’t affordable to them, 3Shape stated.

“It appears that the last thing Align wants is for dentists and patients to have choices or save money,” said Jakob Just-Bomholt, CEO of 3Shape. “Their only goal is to maintain their market monopoly to preserve high margins and benefit Align shareholders.”

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