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Seventh Circuit Hands FTC Another Geographic Market Definition Victory in Chicago Hospital Merger Case

On October 31, 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit handed another important victory to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the State of Illinois in a hospital merger case in Chicago, Illinois. This decision follows closely on the heels of the FTC’s victory earlier this year in FTC v. Penn State Hershey before the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and, like that prior case, is a strong endorsement for the FTC’s analytical approach to hospital mergers. Overview On October 31, 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit overturned a district court decision that denied a motion by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Illinois Attorney General (IL AG) to enjoin the proposed merger of Advocate Health Network (Advocate) and NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) pending conclusion of an FTC administrative trial on the merits of the proposed merger. Earlier this year, the US District Court for the Northern District of...

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District Court Blocks FTC and PA AG Challenge to Hershey-Pinnacle Merger

On May 9, 2016, the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania denied the motion by the Federal Trade Commission and Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the merger of Penn State Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth System. The decision ends a string of victories by the FTC in recent health care merger litigation. Read the full article.

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Court Certifies Class in Hospital Merger Antitrust Lawsuit

On December 10, 2013, Judge Edmond Chang of the Northern District of Illinois certified a class of plaintiffs who filed a proposed class action against NorthShore University Health System (formerly Evanston Northwestern Healthcare) on behalf of all end-payors who purchased inpatient and outpatient healthcare services directly from NorthShore. In 2000, Evanston Northwestern acquired rival Highland Park Hospital.  The FTC successfully challenged the consummated merger in 2004, but did not order divestiture because the hospitals had already been merged and was functioning as a single entity for several years.  After the FTC’s decision, the plaintiffs brought their class action, alleging that NorthShore illegally monopolized the market and caused the plaintiffs and the putative class to pay artificially inflated prices for healthcare services. A previously assigned judge denied the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, holding that the plaintiffs had failed...

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