What the FTC Suit Surescripts Suit Might Mean for the Tech Sector

In a case that has huge potential implications for the tech sector, the FTC just sued Surescripts, accusing it of abusing monopoly power. Surescripts offers software that lets hospitals and doctors send prescriptions electronically to pharmacies, and then connects the pharmacy with the patient’s insurance company to verify coverage. It processes well over a billion prescriptions per year. According to the FTC, Surescripts crafted an elaborate contract scheme that required pharmacies and insurers not to use similar services from any other company. And according to the complaint, Surescripts did this to avoid competition from new companies trying to enter the market, because Surescripts wanted to maintain its prices. It’s an interesting case, and one to watch. But what does it tell us about the FTC’s approach to monopoly cases generally? That’s a dangerous game to play, as antitrust cases are highly fact-specific, and abuse of monopoly power cases are so…

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