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Feds Review Highmark-West Penn Deal for Antitrust Concerns

Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice are reviewing Pittsburgh-based Highmark's proposed $475 million acquisition of West Penn Allegheny Health System to determine if it would violate antitrust laws, according to a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report.

Experts cited in the report say the DOJ does not routinely investigate proposed transactions for antitrust violations, and that the agency is "somewhat selective" in such investigations.

Crosstown competitor University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is also cooperating with the investigation, as Highmark will continue its contracts with UPMC through June 30, 2013, while simultaneously extending its reach over WPAHS. A UPMC spokesperson said the DOJ wants to determine whether that would give Highmark more power to control pricing, according to the report.

Highmark expects the review to end as early as next month, according to the report.  

Related Articles on Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System:

Judge Suspends Antitrust Case Between West Penn, UPMC
Highmark, West Penn to Reopen Emergency Department in Pittsburgh Today
West Penn's Losses Reach $56M

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