Third Circuit Delivers Resounding Victory for FTC in Pennsylvania Hospital Merger Case

On September 27, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit handed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a significant antitrust victory by granting its request for a preliminary injunction to stay the pending merger (Merger) between Penn State Hershey Medical Center (PSHMC) and Pinnacle Health System. The Third Circuit reversed a Pennsylvania federal district court’s May 2016 decision that would have allowed the Merger to proceed (see here for our analysis of that decision). This reversal bolsters the FTC’s antitrust enforcement efforts after successive district court-level losses in hospital merger antitrust cases earlier this year. (In July, the Northern District of Illinois denied the FTC’s and the State of Illinois’ motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin a proposed merger between Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University HealthSystem.)

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