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Georgia District Court Hear Arguments Regarding Injunction Filed Against Phoebe Putney, Others

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Attorneys representing the Federal Trade Commission, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Ga., the Hospital Authority of Albany-Dougherty County and HCA Healthcare presented their arguments in a U.S. district court regarding an injunction filed by the FTC to stop the merger of Phoebe Putney and HCA-owned Palmyra Medical Center, according to an Albany Herald news report.

At the heart of the issue is the question of whether or not the merger of Phoebe Putney and Palmyra Medical Center would violate antitrust law. In a hearing that lasted nearly 10 hours, the FTC argued the merger would hurt consumers since the merger would eliminate competition and lead to increased healthcare costs.

Attorneys representing the defendants, on the other hand, argued Phoebe Putney is a separate entity that wants to lease Palmyra to a Phoebe-controlled non-profit corporation. The defendants' attorneys say this alone should put the anti-trust concerns to rest but also added the Hospital Authority's involvement should give defendants state action immunity since antitrust law does not apply to state entities.

After hearing argument, presiding Judge Louis Sands stated he would make a decision on whether or not he would lift the injunction in two weeks. Late last year, Phoebe Putney approached HCA with a $195 million offer to buy Palmyra. HCA agreed to enter the agreement, and the Hospital Authority unanimously voted to allow the transaction.

Read the news report about the injunction against Phoebe Putney.

Related Articles on Phoebe Putney:
FTC Alleges Phoebe Putney's Proposed Acquisition of Palmyra Park Hospital is Anticompetitive
Georgia's Phoebe Putney, Palmyra Medical Center Receive FTC Subpoenas for Information Surrounding Sale
Georgia's Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and MCGHealth Children's Medical Center Form Partnership

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