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US: Surescripts must face FTC monopoly case

 |  January 19, 2020

On Friday January 17th, a DC federal court ruled that Surescripts cannot dodge a case brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which accused the company of using contract terms to illegally monopolize the electronic prescription market, reported Bloomberg Law. 

According to the US District Court Judge, John Bates, Surescripts claims that the government’s case is both “procedurally and substantively defective” are incorrect.

The FTC alleges that Surescripts has violated Section 2 of the Sherman Act by maintaining a monopoly in two markets-electronic prescription routing and eligibility through anticornpetitive conduct, including an exclusive loyalty- based pricing policy. The Court concluded that the FTC’s complaint sufficiently pleads a “proper” case for a permanent injunction under Section 13(b) II. tr’ailure to State a Claim Under Section 2 of the Sherman Act.

Since April, the FTC has sought both a permanent injunction and monetary relief from Surescripts over claims that the health company illegally monopolized the market for electronic prescription routing and eligibility. 

The FTC alleged 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.”

The FTC has stated its case against Surescripts is part of its larger ongoing efforts to end anti-competitive practices that put consumers at a disadvantage and raise the cost of care.

“Surescripts’ illegal contracts denied customers and, ultimately, patients, the benefits of competition – including lower prices, increased output, thriving innovation, higher quality, and more customer choice,” said FTC Bureau of Competition Director Bruce Hoffman in April. “Through this litigation, we hope to eliminate the anticompetitive conduct, open the relevant markets to competition, and redress the harm that Surescripts’s conduct has caused.”

Full Content: Bloomberg

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