WESTBROOK, Maine, Dec. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ, IDXX) and the staff of the Bureau of Competition of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") have signed a Consent Agreement to resolve the FTC's investigation into whether the Company engaged in unfair methods of competition.
Under the Consent Agreement, IDEXX cannot have exclusive distribution agreements with all three of MWI Veterinary Supply, Inc. ("MWI"), Butler Schein Animal Health, and Webster Veterinary. IDEXX may maintain exclusive distribution agreements with two of these three distributors. IDEXX's non-exclusive agreement with MWI, effective January 1, 2013, brings the Company into compliance with the terms of the Consent Agreement.
The Consent Agreement expressly states that the Company admits no wrongdoing."Entering into the Consent Agreement with the FTC staff is a milestone in our effort to resolve the multi-year FTC investigation," said Jonathan Ayers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The terms of the Consent Agreement are consistent with the proposed resolution we described beginning in April of this year." "We continue to believe that our distribution practices do not violate the antitrust laws, as these same practices have been upheld by two federal courts of appeal. However, the Consent Agreement provides a framework that allows us to put an end to the expense and distraction of the FTC investigation and to avoid long and costly litigation with the FTC, while preserving and even strengthening the longstanding relationships we have with our distribution partners." As is the ordinary process, the Consent Agreement remains subject to approval by the FTC Commissioners, who will review the Agreement and a draft complaint. If they approve the proposed draft complaint and proposed Consent Agreement, there will be a 30-day public comment period after which the Commissioners can issue their final approval.