South Korea's antitrust watchdog on Thursday fined Johnson & Johnson Korea 1.8 billion won ($1.68 million) for hampering eyeglasses stores from cutting prices of its contact lens products.
Johnson & Johnson Korea is a local unit of Johnson & Johnson Visioncare headquartered in the U.S. It leads the contact lens market here with a 45 percent share as of 2012.
According to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), Johnson & Johnson violated fair trade laws by determining its own minimum prices before supplying its contact lens to stores and stopped supplying the products or imposed other disadvantages if they did not follow the price guidelines.
Such practices took place for more than 3 years from January 2007 to April 2010, the FTC said.
The FTC said that its decision to fine Johnson & Johnson is to punish a market leader for its unfair business practices that eventually prevented the stores from cutting prices or providing discounts for their customers.
Industry data showed that the size of the contact lens market was estimated at around 510 billion won in 2012, which represented
21 percent of the total eyeglasses market. (Yonhap News)