Justice Department probes CT antitrust cases

August 15, 1994

Picker Internationalacknowledged last month that the antitrust division of the Departmentof Justice has requested independent service organization ImagingEquipment Services to provide it with all documents related toa lawsuit between Picker and IES (SCAN

Picker Internationalacknowledged last month that the antitrust division of the Departmentof Justice has requested independent service organization ImagingEquipment Services to provide it with all documents related toa lawsuit between Picker and IES (SCAN 7/27/94).

The request appears to be part of a larger review of legalproceedings involving antitrust claims related to the CT scannerindustry, Picker said. However, all antitrust allegations by IESagainst Picker were effectively dismissed in June when the judgein the case granted the scanner vendor's motion for summary judgment(SCAN 6/15/94).

Picker was also found innocent of all antitrust allegationsin its 1992 litigation with ISO Electronics in Medicine (Etek),the vendor said.

The Etek decision was a mixed bag for Picker, however, accordingto court documents. The Houston jury found the vendor innocentof selling Dunlee tubes only when users purchased Picker CT service.(Dunlee is a division of Picker, not a subsidiary as labeled inour last issue.)However, the jury in the Etek case did find thatPicker agreed to sell its service only when users bought Dunleetubes and warranties. Therefore, the tube rather than the scannerservice was labeled as the tied product.

While a product tying charge can be a component of a largerantitrust charge, product tying by itself does not indicate antitrustillegality, according to a Picker spokesperson.

The Etek jury found that there was not a "relevant market"from an antitrust perspective for the service and repair of PickerCT scanners. Neither did the jury find that there were anticompetitiveeffects in the CT tube market.