Bipartisan Group of AGs Urge Appeals Court to Block Hospital System Acquisition by Competitor

  • A bipartisan group of 26 AGs, led by California AG Rob Bonta and Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro, filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Federal Trade Commission v. Hackensack Memorial Hospital and Englewood Healthcare Foundation, No. 21-2603, in support of the FTC’s position that a proposed merger between the two New Jersey hospital systems violates federal antitrust law.
  • The FTC sued to block the acquisition of Hackensack Meridian Health, Inc. by Englewood Healthcare Foundation, alleging that the deal would eliminate close competition between the two entities and result in one system controlling 50% of inpatient general acute care hospitals in Bergen County, New Jersey. The district court agreed, granting a preliminary injunction halting the proposed acquisition.
  • In the amicus brief, the AGs argue that a growing number of hospital consolidations has resulted in healthcare systems with concentrated market power that can be used to raise prices and invest less in improvements to patient care, thereby harming insurers and patients. The brief further argues that the merger should be stopped because its anticompetitive harms, which include reduced patient services and reduced employment, are not outweighed by the potential for extraordinary benefits or efficiencies.