The U.S. Justice Department has subpoenaed an equipment service company in a civil investigation of possible antitrust violations in the medical-imaging industry.
The subpoena requests documents from the seven-year legal battle between Imaging Equipment Services and Picker International. Pittsburgh-based IES has charged that Picker illegally interfered with more than 100 service contracts (March 16, 1992, p. 14). MODERN HEALTHCARE obtained a copy of the subpoena, dated July 12.
It says that investigators are examining possible monopolization of the service market or tying arrangements in the market for computerized tomography scanners. An example of a possible tying arrangement is linking sales of basic equipment with contracts to service it.
Cleveland-based Picker, one of the nation's largest imaging-equipment makers, has been involved in a number of lawsuits with independent service companies. In May, the U.S. District Court in Boston ruled in Picker's favor against IES. The service company plans to appeal once it receives an explanation of the judge's decision, said Thomas Quinn, its president. Mr. Quinn has been lobbying government agencies for an investigation of equipment maker service practices.
A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed that it's examining "anti-competitive practices in the medical-imaging device industry." She declined to comment further in accordance with department policy.