FTC Granted Preliminary Injunction Against ProMedica/St. Luke’s

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The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio granted the request for a preliminary injunction by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), pending a full administrative trial on the merits of ProMedica Health System Inc.’s proposed acquisition of St. Luke’s Hospital on Tuesday, March 29, 2011. The decision marks FTC’s first preliminary injunction against parties in a hospital merger in over a decade. The agency stated, “We are gratified that Judge Katz has issued a preliminary injunction to preserve competition between ProMedica and St. Luke’s. In a time of rapidly escalating heath care costs, we believe that consumers in Lucas County, Ohio are the true beneficiaries of this decision.” The FTC press release regarding the preliminary injunction is available at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/03/promedica.shtm.

On January 6, 2011, the FTC announced that it was challenging ProMedica Health System’s $156 million acquisition of St. Luke’s Hospital. According to the FTC’s complaint, the transaction, which closed in August 2010 but was not consummated pursuant to an agreement with the FTC, reduced the number of general, acute-care hospitals in the St. Lucas County, Ohio area from four to three, giving ProMedica control of nearly 60% of the market for general acute-care inpatient hospital services and over 80% of the market for obstetrical services.

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