Denver appeals court to hear arguments over Utah law banning minimum prices for contact lenses

MarketsAssociated Press

A legal battle over a hotly contested Utah law banning minimum prices for contact lenses is set to come before a federal appeals court on Thursday.

The nation's largest contact lens companies are asking the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver to strike down the measure that could have wide-ranging effects on the $4 billion industry.

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Alcon Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson and Bausch & Lomb call the law a brazen overreach written specifically to help Utah-based discount seller 1-800 Contacts.

Lawmakers deny that. The state's attorney general contends the contacts manufacturers are wrongly driving up prices.

The companies are appealing a ruling from a federal judge in Utah. The 10th Circuit has allowed the law to go into effect as the case plays out.