US: FTC vows to fight Advocate-NorthShore merger

The Federal Trade Commission is appealing a federal judge’s decision that allows Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University HealthSystem to merge.

Antitrust regulators filed a notice of appeal today, one day after US Northern District Judge Jorge Alonso denied the FTC’s motion for a preliminary injunction to block the deal. The notice was submitted by attorneys for the FTC and for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

“We remain confident that our merger is in the best interest of consumers,” representatives from Advocate and NorthShore said in a joint statement. “Judge Alonso’s decision reaffirmed our position and the realities of competition in the Chicago market. We look forward to a quick resolution.”

The FTC in December took its case to court, alleging the marriage would “substantially lessen competition and cause significant harm” to consumers by increasing health care costs. The new system, which would be called Advocate NorthShore Health Partners, would create the 11th largest nonprofit hospital network in the nation and command about 60 percent of hospital services in the northern suburbs, the FTC alleges.

The FTC filed a notice of appeal Wednesday in the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Full Content: Chicago Tribune

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