Part III Administrative Complaint
On 4/20/2011, the FTC challenged Phoebe Putney Health System, Inc.’s (Phoebe’s) proposed acquisition of rival Palmyra Park Hospital, Inc. (Palmyra) from HCA, in Albany, Georgia. The FTC’s administrative complaint alleges that the deal will reduce competition significantly and allow the combined Phoebe/Palmyra to raise prices for general acute-care hospital services charged to commercial health plans, substantially harming patients and local employers and employees. The FTC also alleges that Phoebe has structured the deal in a way that uses the Hospital Authority of Albany-Dougherty County (the Authority) in an attempt to shield the anticompetitive acquisition from federal antitrust scrutiny under the “state action” doctrine. The FTC’s staff, together with the Attorney General of the State of Georgia, filed a separate complaint in federal district court in Albany, Georgia, seeking an order to halt any transaction involving Phoebe, the Authority, or Palmyra, under which Phoebe would acquire control of Palmyra’s operations, until the conclusion of the FTC’s administrative proceeding and any subsequent appeals. On 2/19/2013, the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remanded further proceedings.