November 01, 2018

Ohio et. al. v. American Express Co. et. al.: Antitrust Implications for Healthcare Entities

Michael T. Goldstein, M.D., J.D., New York, NY

INTRODUCTION

On June 25, 2018, the United States Supreme Court released its decision in Ohio et. al. v. American Express Co. et al (Ohio), affirming 5-4 the Second Circuit’s dismissal of an antitrust case against American Express (Amex).1 The Second Circuit had reversed the district court’s ruling in favor of  the plaintiffs,2 who had claimed that Amex’s anti-steering clause in its contracts with merchants was in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act (Sherman Act).3 The anti-steering clause bars merchants from steering a customer to use a credit card with a lower transaction fee than the Amex card.4

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