Market Overview

Patterson Companies Reaches Settlement With FTC


Patterson Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO) today announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") regarding an administrative complaint filed by the FTC concerning alleged conduct in 2013. The administrative complaint related to the company's willingness at that time to negotiate with "buying groups." The Commission did not reach a final determination regarding Patterson's alleged conduct. Instead, as a result of the settlement, Patterson and the FTC agreed not to appeal the initial recommendation of the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") and Patterson agreed to abide by the terms of the ALJ's proposed remedial order, which did not impose any monetary fine on the company or require an outside monitor. While Patterson disagreed with the ALJ's findings, and believed it had meritorious grounds to appeal the initial decision, the company determined that, for business reasons, a settlement was in its best interest.

Patterson issued the following statement:

"Following the ALJ's initial recommendation, the FTC approached Patterson with an offer to settle this matter. We continue to categorically deny any wrongdoing and believe that the facts and mainstream legal precedent demonstrate the company's independent and lawful decision-making in a highly competitive industry. However, after an evaluation of all options – including an appeal to the FTC's full Commission and, potentially, an appeal to a federal Circuit Court after that – Patterson determined that a settlement is in the company's best interest, and allows us to avoid the costs, distraction and uncertainty related to this matter."

Under the terms of the agreement, Patterson agreed to maintain its ongoing personnel training on antitrust laws and to continue making independent decisions with regard to "buying groups".

About Patterson Companies Inc.

Patterson Companies Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO) connects dental and animal health customers in North America and the U.K. to the latest products, technologies, services and innovative business solutions that enable operational and professional success. Our comprehensive portfolio, distribution network and supply chain are equaled only by our dedicated, knowledgeable people who deliver unrivaled expertise and unmatched customer service and support.

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