Patterson, Benco Dental guilty of conspiring against dental buying groups, FTC finds

A Federal Trade Commission judge ruled Oct. 16 that Patterson Companies and Benco Dental Supply Co. were guilty of conspiring against dental product buying groups, reports Newsday.

Henry Schein, who was also included in the complaint, was cleared in the initial ruling. The judge said that Henry Schein did not conspire to refuse offering discounts or compete for the business of buying groups.

"We have publicly denied these allegations from the very start of this matter," Henry Schein CEO Stanley Bergman said in a statement. "Henry Schein has always been committed to doing business in an ethical manner wherever we operate, and our team looks forward to continuing to server our customers and suppliers with excellence that is expected from us."

Patterson and Benco were both found complicit in undermining buying groups. These buying groups are formed by private practice and small-group dental practices to negotiate better prices on various products.

The two companies were ordered to "cease and desist." Patterson and Benco must file reports to the FTC and cannot enter into any agreements related to buying groups.

A spokesperson for Benco told Newsday that the company looks forward to "the appellate process to show that neither the facts nor the law support the FTC claim against Benco."

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