The Federal Trade Commission and 17 state attorneys general sued Amazon alleging that the online retail and technology company is a monopolist that uses a set of interlocking anticompetitive and unfair strategies to illegally maintain its monopoly power. The FTC and its state partners say Amazon’s actions allow it to stop rivals and sellers from lowering prices, degrade quality for shoppers, overcharge sellers, stifle innovation, and prevent rivals from fairly competing against Amazon.
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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.
The Federal Trade Commission has sued Facebook, alleging that the company is illegally maintaining its personal social networking monopoly through a years-long course of anticompetitive conduct. The complaint alleges that Facebook has engaged in a systematic strategy—including its 2012 acquisition of up-and-coming rival Instagram, its 2014 acquisition of the mobile messaging app WhatsApp, and the imposition of anticompetitive conditions on software developers—to eliminate threats to its monopoly. The Commission vote to authorize staff to file for a permanent injunction and other equitable relief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia was 3-2. Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson voted no.
FTC Approves Final Order Requiring Semiconductor Supplier Broadcom to Cease Its Anticompetitive Conduct
The Federal Trade Commission has issued a complaint charging Broadcom with illegally monopolizing markets for semiconductor components used to deliver television and broadband internet services through exclusive dealing and related conduct. The complaint alleges that Broadcom illegally maintained its power in the three monopolized markets by entering long-term agreements with both OEMs and service providers that prevented these customers from purchasing chips from Broadcom’s competitors. The complaint also alleges that Broadcom leveraged its power in the three monopolized chip markets to extract from customers exclusivity and loyalty commitments for the supply of chips in the five related markets. Under the consent order, Broadcom must stop requiring its customers to source components from Broadcom on an exclusive or near exclusive basis.
Statement of Chair Lina M. Khan Joined by Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter on Actions to Expedite Staff Investigations
Dissenting Statement of Commissioners Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine S. Wilson Regarding the Issuance of Eight Omnibus Resolutions
FTC Alleges Facebook Resorted to Illegal Buy-or-Bury Scheme to Crush Competition After String of Failed Attempts to Innovate
FTC Charges Broadcom with Illegal Monopolization and Orders the Semiconductor Supplier to Cease its Anticompetitive Conduct
FTC Returns Nearly $60 Million to Those Suffering from Opioid Addiction Who Were Allegedly Overcharged in Suboxone Film Scheme
Statement by Acting Chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter on Agency’s Decision not to Petition Supreme Court for Review of Qualcomm Case
Indivior, Inc. to Pay $10 Million to Consumers, Settling FTC Charges that the Company Illegally Maintained a Monopoly over the Opioid Addiction Treatment Suboxone
The FTC filed a complaint in federal district court charging Qualcomm Inc. with using anticompetitive tactics to maintain its monopoly in the supply of a key semiconductor device used in cell phones and other consumer products.
Reckitt Benckiser Group plc to Pay $50 Million to Consumers, Settling FTC Charges that the Company Illegally Maintained a Monopoly over the Opioid Addiction Treatment Suboxone
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