Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Antitrust Immunity in Hospital Merger Case

What you need to know:

The Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision siding with the FTC against a hospital merger in Georgia.

What you need to do:

Companies should conduct careful analysis before investing time and effort in a controversial merger.

On February 19, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc., siding with the FTC against a hospital merger. Based upon the wording of a Georgia statute that allows hospital authorities to make acquisitions, the hospitals had argued that the merger is protected from the federal antitrust laws under the state action immunity doctrine. Justice Sotomayor wrote a carefully worded opinion rejecting this defense. What does the Phoebe Putney ruling mean for the rest of us – in other states and in other industry sectors – and what does it mean for the other antitrust cases that are now before the Supreme Court?

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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