FTC appeals judge's order in Pennsylvania merger case

The Federal Trade Commission has appealed a federal judge's decision to allow the merger of Penn State Milton S. Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center and Harrisburg, Pa.-based PinnacleHealth System.

Hershey Medical Center and PinnacleHealth announced their merger plan last June. In December, the FTC and Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane objected to the proposed integration of the two organizations.

Both sides presented their arguments during a week-long trial in April. On Monday, Judge John E. Jones III issued a 26-page ruling, denying the FTC's motion for a preliminary injunction. The following day, the FTC appealed the judge's decision.

To prevent PinnacleHealth and Hershey from moving forward with their merger, the FTC and state regulators have requested an injunction, which would put the case on hold pending appeal.

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