A judge sided with the FTC and said that 1-800 Contacts “unlawfully orchestrated a web of anticompetitive agreements” thus restricting price competition.
Here is the 45 second version.
Search engines like Google and Bing make money by selling ad space that appears at the top of the results page in response to your search request. Advertisers bid on this top spot via an automated auction and the search engines place the winning bid on this spot.
From 2004-2013, 1-800 Contacts sent cease and desist letters to fourteen online contact lens vendors to prevent them from bidding on that ad space when the search keywords contained “1-800 Contacts” saying that they were infringing their trademark. Legally, that isn’t true but the other online vendors didn’t put up a fight because of the cost of litigation that would likely result. This meant that even if a user typed “1-800 contacts cheaper competitors” they would only see an ad for 1-800 Contacts. And that is what the FTC calls “restricting price competition”. (via)