Federal Trade Commission And Dental Examiners

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Introduction Last February, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission (Dental Examiners). The case concerned the Board’s decision to stop teeth whitening services by non-dentists in the state. The Federal Trade Commission alleged that the Board had violated antitrust laws by attempting to limit competition by its teeth whitening decision. State entities such as the Board generally were thought to have immunity from antitrust laws, but the Supreme Court’s decision reversed this long-held belief and found that state boards could be held liability if certain conditions were met. The major condition was that the board be made up of a majority of active market…show more content…
Finally, the second part will address how states have responded to Dental Examiners, and what Kansas can do to address the decision.
To be understand the Dental Examiners decision, it is important to understand the legal background for the case. To do this, we first have to examine the broader area of law that surrounds antitrust liability. Secondly, we need to examine the Parker doctrine, which creates antitrust immunity for states. Finally, we need to look at Dental Examiners itself and its background.
Antitrust Liability A preliminary question is what is antirust liability? While there are other statutes, the Sherman Antitrust Act is the signature law prohibiting antitrust activity. The act defines antitrust activity as any “restraint of trade or commerce.” It also prevents persons from monopolizing or attempting to monopolizing trade. The act is only concerned with restrains of trade that are “unreasonably restrictive of competitive conditions.” A secondary requirement is that there be “concerted action,” which requires more than unilateral behavior by individual actors. Examples of antitrust violations include price-fixing, allocations of territory or customers, and exclusive dealing agreements. Antitrust laws can be enforced either through actions brought by
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