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US: Walgreens settles search add suit

 |  September 19, 2019

Walgreens has agreed to settle a class-action antitrust lawsuit centered on search ad campaigns, according to Media Post.

The settlement will resolve allegations that Walgreens (along with Vision Direct, now owned by Walgreens) violated antitrust law by entering into agreements with 1-800 Contacts to restrict search advertising.

Walgreens and 13 other contact lens retailers allegedly entered into the agreements between 2004 and 2013. The companies — some of which have since consolidated, did so in response to legal threats by 1-800 Contacts, which claimed its trademark was infringed when rivals used its brand name to trigger search ads.

The Federal Trade Commission ruled 4-1 last year that the pacts to restrict search ads were illegal. Chairman Joe Simons said in a written opinion that the agreements may have deprived consumers of the ability to compare brands.

Full Content: Media Post

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