The U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of Becton, Dickinson & Co. (BDC), a medical products provider, on the grounds that its contracts with MedPricer.com, Inc. (MedPricer), a company operating an online auction platform, violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS), and were therefore unenforceable under Connecticut state law. MedPricer.com, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson & Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30854 (Memorandum opinion).
As described in the opinion, MedPricer enters into service agreements with hospitals and other health care providers to host online “auctions” for the sale of medical equipment. The health care provider determines which vendors to invite to the online auction and MedPricer sends invitations to the vendors. In order to participate in the MedPricer auction, a vendor must, among other things, accept the terms of a click-through user agreement. Vendors that accept the terms of the agreement may submit bids to the health care provider in response to requests for quotes. The agreements at issue before the Court required BDC to pay MedPricer a fee of 1.5% of the value of any purchase from the vendor, whether or not the sale occurs during the auction events or afterward.