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Health Care Reform Goals Fail to Persuade Court in Antitrust Challenge to Acquisition

On January 24, 2014,  a federal district court judge validated the trend of recent increased Federal Trade Commission (FTC) scrutiny of physician practice consolidations and acquisitions by upholding the agency’s antitrust challenge to the St. Luke’s Health System (St. Luke’s) 2012 acquisition of Saltzer Medical Group (Saltzer).  In this decision, the court ordered a divestiture remedy by requiring St. Luke’s to unwind its acquisition of Saltzer. Although it applauded St. Luke’s for its attempt to improve health care delivery through the transaction, the court nonetheless held that “there were other ways to achieve the same effect that do not run afoul of the antitrust laws.”

For more analysis of this groundbreaking health care antitrust decision, read the advisory authored by Bruce Sokler, Chair of Mintz Levin’s Antitrust Practice.

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