Posted by : Matthew Wild | On : May 16, 2008

On May 14, 2008, the Fifth Circuit rejected North Texas Specialty Physicians’ petition for review of an order that found certain of its activities constituted price-fixing and therefore violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act and Section 5 of the FTC Act. North Texas Specialty Physicians v. FTC, No. 06-60023, 2008 WL 2043040 (5th Cir. May 14, 2008). The Fifth Circuit found that the agreement among the physicians met the commerce requirement because if successful, “the advantages of competition have been adversely affected for out-of-state employers and payors.” The court affirmed the FTC’s use of the “quick look” and the FTC’s holding that the fee setting provisions were unrelated to any of the organization’s procompetitive efficiencies. The court modified one provision in the FTC’s remedial order, however, that prohibited the NTSP from entering into an agreement with its members where they “deal[t with, refuse[d] to deal, or threaten[ed] to refuse to deal with any payor.” As the court observed, “it is difficult to see how the NTSP can both deal and refuse to deal with any payor.” The rest of the order was affirmed.