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Amicus Brief Filed by FTC and DOJ Urges Appeals Court to Dismiss Appeal by Texas Medical Board in Antitrust Lawsuit

On September 9, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice filed a joint amicus brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to dismiss an appeal by the Texas Medical Board of a district court decision holding that Board regulations restricting telehealth services may be challenged under federal antitrust laws. The brief argues that the Fifth Circuit lacks jurisdiction to hear the appeal. But even if that court has jurisdiction, the brief explains, the court should affirm the district court’s order and reject the Board’s argument that its rules are shielded from federal antitrust scrutiny by the “state action” doctrine.

Teladoc, Inc. provides medical services via telephone or videoconference. Its complaint alleged that Board rules adopted in 2010 and 2015 violate U.S. antitrust law by dramatically restricting telehealth services in Texas and raising prices.

The FTC voted unanimously to approve the amicus brief filing.

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