Attorney says the company violated antitrust laws by creating a monopoly, causing consumers to overpay for Invisalign aligners since 2017.
Hagens Berman, a consumer-litigation law firm in the United States, has filed a class-action lawsuit against the maker Align Technology Inc, accusing the company of creating a monopoly in the clear aligner market.
The lawsuit, filed on May 3 in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California claims that Align is in violation of federal antitrust laws and various consumer protection laws, because it has been monopolizing the dental aligner market, attempting to control more than 90%, and using a variety of anticompetitive tactics to prevent alternatives to Invisalign Aligners from being sold.
Steve Berman, managing partner at Hagens Berman and the attorney representing the class action suit said, “Align has used its control of aligners and dental scanners to self-reinforce its market dominance in both markets. We believe that Align’s anticompetitive tactics have sustained its monopoly and has led consumers to overpay for Invisalign at $8,000 a pop. Align has a large debt to settle with its customers.”
The lawsuit states that for many years, Align was able to charge high prices and earn high profit margins on Invisalign because the product was protected by a “thicket of hundreds of patents that Align wielded aggressively to protect its monopoly.”
The lawsuit says Align also used its power to manipulate the market of digital intraoral scanners with iTero, which the firm points out is a closed-system. The attorneys cite Align’s practice of not allowing rival scanner manufacturers to order Invisalign. Attorneys say Align “…sacrificed short term profits to cement a long-term monopoly that would allow them to overcharge consumers in perpetuity.”