NorthShore CEO: Northwestern wants our merger with Advocate to fail

Chicago-based Northwestern Memorial HealthCare wants the Federal Trade Commission to win the lawsuit it brought to stop the merger between Evanston, Ill.-based NorthShore University HealthSystem and Downers Grove, Ill.-based Advocate Health Care, according to NorthShore's President and CEO Mark Neaman.

Mr. Neaman delivered this news while on the witness stand Thursday in an antitrust hearing over the proposed Advocate-NorthShore merger, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Under oath, Mr. Neaman testified that he met with Northwestern President and CEO Dean Harrison in late January at the Chicago Club. According to Mr. Neaman, Mr. Harrison said he wanted the FTC to prevail in its lawsuit to stop the merger because Northwestern would like to pursue a merger with NorthShore.

Mr. Neaman raised concerns about a potential NorthShore-Northwestern merger to Mr. Harrison, including the likelihood that the FTC would block such a deal.

"He told me not to worry about the FTC. He said Northwestern had a way to get around the FTC," Mr. Neaman testified, according to the report.

The FTC called Northwestern's chief legal officer as a witness on Tuesday. Dan Webb, NorthShore's attorney, argued Mr. Neaman's testimony evidences Northwestern's bias in the case.

When reached for comment by the Tribune, Northwestern Medicine spokesman Christopher King said all past discussions Northwestern has had with organizations are confidential.

More articles on antitrust issues:

NorthShore lawyer: Why doesn't FTC include Northwestern in definition of Chicago's competitive market?
FTC suspends challenge of West Virginia hospital merger
Antitrust lawsuit against Premier Health heads back to lower court


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