Supreme Court to determine whether state action doctrine can be used to circumvent antitrust laws

Georgia case is a struggle between the FTC and state powers

Despite losses at the district and appellate levels, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) fight to enjoin the merger of two hospitals in Albany, Georgia is not over. While a district court in Georgia denied the FTC’s motion for a preliminary injunction in Federal Trade Commission v. Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc., and the 11th Circuit upheld that decision, the Supreme Court announced on June 25 that it would hear the FTC’s appeal.

As a result, the court will consider whether an alleged merger to monopoly of two hospitals—Phoebe Putney Health System and Palmyra Medical Center—can be exempt from antitrust enforcement based on the “state action” doctrine, which holds that certain state-mandated or -directed actions are exempted from antitrust liability. The FTC and critics of the 11th Circuit decision fear that the application of state action immunity in this context will pave the way for future transactions to be structured in a similar way in order to avoid the reach of the antitrust laws.

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Leigh Oliver

Leigh Oliver is an associate in the Washington D.C. office of Hogan Lovells, with a focus on antitrust and trade regulation law

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Corey Roush

Corey Roush is a partner in the Washington D.C. office of Hogan Lovells, where he focuses on antitrust litigation, white collar criminal defense, corporate governance...

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Logan Breed

Logan Breed is a partner in the Washington D.C. office of Hogan Lovells, concentrating on antitrust clearance of mergers and acquisitions, antitrust litigation, and non-merger...

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