Admitting no guilt, Henry Schein settles antitrust suit

Settle down: Henry Schein CEO Stanley Bergman is comfortable with his company's decision to settle a two-year-old antitrust lawsuit.

Henry Schein Inc. has bought its way out of a two-year-old antitrust lawsuit.

The Melville-based global healthcare products and services distributor announced this week that it’s settled litigation brought by Arizona-based SourceOne Dental Inc. Although neither party has made an official statement about the size of the settlement, it appears to be somewhere in the $3 million range.

Seeking unspecified compensation, SourceOne – self-billed as the dental industry’s “first e-commerce marketplace offering an aggregation of products from direct-selling dental manufacturers [and] brands available through third-party distributors” – filed an antitrust suit in 2015 in Federal Court in Central Islip, naming Henry Schein and two co-defendants: Pennsylvania-based Benco Dental Supply Co. and Farmingdale-based Patterson Dental Supply Co., a subsidiary of Minnesota-based Patterson Companies.

According to the suit, the three distributors were engaging in illegal boycotts meant to stifle competition from SourceOne and other discount distributors.

In a statement regarding this week’s settlement, Henry Schein said it “denies any wrongdoing related to the SourceOne litigation” and insisted it “chose to pursue a settlement solely to avoid further distraction and cost resulting from this matter.”

While no official damages have been reported, Henry Schein said the settlement would result in a per-share charge of 4 cents when the company reports the results of its Fiscal Year 2017 second quarter. Factoring roughly 79.33 million outstanding shares as of June 27, that would equal a settlement of about $3.17 million.

Henry Schein’s FY2017 second quarter ends June 30. The company is slated to report on its quarterly results in August.