Dental Supplies Antitrust Litigation (Direct Purchaser)

Filing Deadline: TBD
Settlement Amount: $80,000,000.00
Eligible Claimants:

All persons or entities that purchased dental supplies and equipment from Henry Schein, Patterson, Benco, Burkhart or any combination thereof, during the period beginning August 31, 2008, until such time as the anticompetitive conduct alleged in the case has ceased (the “Class Period”). Excluded from the Class are Defendants, their subsidiaries, affiliate entities, and employees, and all federal or state government entities or agencies.

Case History:

Defendants are the three dominant dental product distributors in the United States. This case involves an anticompetitive conspiracy by these Defendants to foreclose competition by illegally engaging in a conspiracy to boycott competitor dental product distributors and other entities that do business with such competitors, in order to allow Defendants to maintain and extend their dominant collective market power in the market for the distribution of dental supplies and dental equipment (collectively, “dental supplies”) in the United States. As alleged in a complaint filed by the Texas Attorney General’s Office against one of the Defendants, “Benco and its competitor distributors engaged in ongoing communications over several months about [a new low-cost distributor]. They shared information about market players’ reactions to the new firm’s entry, they collectively developed a response, and they provided reassurances to market participants about the collective response. . . . Benco and its competitor distributors contacted other distributors and manufacturers to pressure those entities to discontinue any relationships that ultimately supplied [the new low-cost distributor]. As a result of this pressure, other distributors and manufacturers discontinued such relationships, causing [the new low-cost distributor] to lose access to products.” This conspiracy allowed Defendants to injure Plaintiffs and other members of the Class (defined below) by charging them prices substantially above competitive levels for dental supplies.

Dental Supply products include:

sterilization products, x-ray film, acrylics, alloys, waxes, and impression materials, imaging devices, dental chairs, and high-tech equipment such as dental CAD/CAM systems and any other products supplied by the defendants.

Defendants:

PATTERSON COMPANIES, INC, HENRY SCHEIN, INC., and BENCO DENTAL SUPPLY COMPANY.