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Debate on State-Action Immunity Ignited After FTC Cities Antitrust Violation in Challenge of Hospital Merger

May 3, 2023

Debbie Feinstein, head of the firm’s Global Antitrust group, was quoted in The National Law Journal article, “Fight Over Louisiana Hospital Merger Sparks Intrigue Over Antitrust Review.” The Federal Trade Commission claims that a the parties violated the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act by failing to notify their merger to the antitrust agencies. The parties are disputing this accusation since the Louisiana legislature issued a Certificate of Public Advantage. The article examines whether the parties’ actions are immunized by the the state-action doctrine.

Feinstein emphasized that the FTC’s core initiative of getting involved in health care mergers underscores the longstanding conflict between federal antitrust enforcement and states’ ability to take actions—especially in health care—to lower costs and enhance efficiency in the face of rising demand.

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