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The FTC sued the health information company Surescripts, alleging that the company employed illegal vertical and horizontal restraints in order to maintain its monopolies over two electronic prescribing, or “e-prescribing,” markets: routing and eligibility. According to the complaint, Surescripts monopolized two separate markets for e-prescription services: The market for routing e-prescriptions, which uses technology that enables health care providers to send electronic prescriptions directly to pharmacies; and the market for determining eligibility, a separate service that enables health care providers to electronically determine patients’ eligibility for prescription coverage through access to insurance coverage and benefits information, usually through a pharmacy benefit manager.The FTC alleges that Surescripts intentionally set out to keep e-prescription routing and eligibility customers on both sides of each market from using additional platforms (a practice known as multihoming) using anticompetitive exclusivity agreements, threats, and other exclusionary tactics. Among other things, the FTC alleges that Surescripts took steps to increase the costs of routing and eligibility multihoming through loyalty and exclusivity contracts.
In July 2023, the FTC filed a proposed order that would resolve the Commission’s charges. The proposed order prohibits Surescripts from engaging in exclusionary conduct and executing or enforcing non-compete agreements with current and former employees. The proposed order also goes beyond routing and eligibility, extending the same prohibitions to Surescripts’ medication history services and the company’s on-demand formulary services.
Statement of Chair Lina M. Khan Joined by Commissioners Slaughter and Bedoya Concerning the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Non-Compete Clause Rule
Dissenting Statement of Commissioner Christine S. Wilson Concerning the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Non-Compete Clause Rule
Statement of Commissioners Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Alvaro M. Bedoya Concerning the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Non-Compete Clause Rule
The Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board, alleging that the group is unreasonably restraining price competition for appraisal services in Louisiana, contrary to federal antitrust law. The complaint alleged that the appraisal board’s regulations exceeded the scope of the mandate outlined in the Dodd-Frank Act that required appraisal management companies to pay “a rate that is customary and reasonable for appraisal services performed in the market area of the property being appraised.” Specifically, the board required appraisal fees to equal or exceed the median fees identified in survey reports commissioned and published by the board. The board then investigated and sanctioned companies that paid fees below the specified levels.
Shortly before the administrative trial was set to begin, the FTC and the board reached a proposed settlement agreement.
On April 5, 2022, the Commission announced the final consent agreement in this matter.
To settle FTC charges that its actions violated the antitrust laws, the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama agreed to stop requiring on-site supervision by licensed dentists of alignment scans of prospective patients’ mouths seeking to address misaligned teeth or gaps between teeth. According to the complaint, the board amended a rule to prohibit dental hygienists and other non-dentist practitioners from performing scans inside a patient’s mouth without on-site dentist supervision. The complaint alleges that the Board unreasonably excluded from competition providers of teledentistry-based teeth alignment products and services, and that it did this without adequate active supervision from neutral state officials, in violation of the FTC Act. On Dec. 21, 2021, the FTC announced the final consent agreement in this matter.
6(b) Orders to File Special Report on the Competitive Impact of Supply Chain Disruptions in Consumer Goods
Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama; Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment
Statement of Chair Lina M. Khan Joined by Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter on Actions to Expedite Staff Investigations
Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board; Analysis of Agreement Containing Consent Order To Aid Public Comment
The Federal Trade Commission issued an administrative complaint alleging that Benco, Henry Schein and Patterson, the nation's three largest dental supply companies, violated U.S. antitrust laws by conspiring to refuse to provide discounts to or otherwise serve buying groups representing dental practitioners. These buying groups sought lower prices for dental supplies and equipment on behalf of solo and small-group dental practices seeking to gain discounts by aggregating and leveraging the collective purchasing power and bargaining skills of the individual practices. The complaint also alleges an FTC Act Section 5 violation against Benco for inviting a fourth competing distributor to join the conspiracy.
FTC Staff Letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Regarding the Interim Final Rule with Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
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