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New FTC guidelines could complicate UPMC acquisition

The Federal Trade Commission's proposed merger guidelines could complicate Pittsburgh-based UPMC's merger with Washington (Pa.) Health System, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported July 28.

UPMC signed a letter of intent to merge with Washington Health System in June. The FTC's proposed guidelines aim to determine how a merger affects competition and evaluate proposed mergers. The agency is accepting comments on the new guidelines until Sept. 18.

"The Biden administration has been very vocal in saying they're going to be very aggressive in the number of challenges and in trying novel theories of potential harm," Lauren Norris Donahue, partner and antitrust attorney in the Chicago office of K&L Gates, told the Post-Gazette. "It's across all industries, but health care has been a focus of the Biden administration for enforcement actions."

The financial terms of the UPMC and Washington Health System merger were not disclosed. 

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