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Federal judge issues injunction to halt Sanford, Mid Dakota Clinic merger

A U.S. District Court judge granted the Federal Trade Commission's request for a preliminary injunction to halt the proposed merger agreement between Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health and Bismarck, N.D.-based Mid Dakota Clinic Dec. 13, according to The Bismarck Tribune.

Under the order, Sanford and Mid Dakota cannot proceed with the proposed merger until the FTC convenes during a formal administrative hearing in January.

The North Dakota Attorney General's Office and the FTC alleged the proposed deal would violate antitrust law by lessening competition for select services in the area, according to the report.

Lawyers on behalf of Sanford Health said during the four-day hearing last October the district court's decision to grant a preliminary injunction has the potential to strongly influence the federal government's final decision, according to the report.

"With all due respect, we believe that the court is wrong on the law and wrong on the facts. Put simply, the government's case rests on theories that are at odds with reality here in North Dakota," a spokesperson for Sanford told The Bismarck Tribune in a statement. "Sanford and Mid Dakota Clinic are committed to letting Mid Dakota Clinic follow the course that it has selected for maintaining and building on the care it provides to its patients."

Sanford and Mid Dakota appealed the district court's decision Dec. 15.

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