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The U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear N.C. Board of Dental Examiners Case

Supcourt.jpgThe Supreme Court has granted oral arguments in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission. This case was initiated when North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners (the Board), began sending threatening warnings to nondentists providing teeth-whitening services and their landlords. These letters stated that only dentists could use peroxide treatments to remove teeth stains. In a unanimous ruling issued December 2011 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) determined, the Board "issuing cease and desist orders against certain purveyors of teeth whitening, had violated federal antitrust laws by engaging in unfair competition in the market for teeth-whitening services in North Carolina." The FTC's opinion stated the Board "sought to, and did, exclude nondentist providers from the market for teeth whitening services." The opinion continued by saying, "As a result of the Board's actions, many nondentists stopped providing teeth whitening services and several marketers of teeth whitening systems stopped selling their products and equipment in North Carolina." In addition, the FTC noted "several mall operators refused to lease space to, or cancelled existing leases with, nondentist teeth whitening providers." The Board subsequently filed a petition for review with the appeals court.

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