Invibio — which makes a polymer for medical implants — has settled with the FTC for allegedly using anticompetitive tactics to keep potential rivals from gaining customers.
The Conshohocken, Pa.-based company was the first to market implant-quality polyetheretherketone, or PEEK, to medical device manufacturers. The FTC’s complaint alleges that Invibio’s noncompetitive tactics impeded two rivals — Solvay Specialty Polymers and Evonik — from entering the market, allowing the company to retain 90 percent of PEEK sales.
The FTC alleges that Invibio seized an all-or-nothing negotiation strategy for its supply contracts, through which companies had to agree to use Invibio’s PEEK exclusively for nearly all of their implantable devices. As a result, Invibio was able to maintain high prices for PEEK and exclusively control supply source. Consequentially, Invibio stifled incentives to develop improved forms of PEEK.
The devicemakers directly affected by the monopolization are not named or the estimated amount of extra money paid because of Invibio’s actions. Under the proposed consent, Invibio is prohibited from:
“This settlement is designed to provide buyers a meaningful choice among suppliers, to open the door to price competition, and to enhance innovation,” said Debbie Feinstein, director of FTC’s Bureau of Competition.
The public comment period closes on May 27. — Joya Patel