The Federal Trade Commission has approved the request of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation to divest the HCA Aiken Regional Medical Center, located in Aiken, South Carolina, to Universal Health Services, Inc. or to any of Universal's affiliates. In turn, Universal will transfer to a subsidiary of Columbia/HCA two Universal hospitals -- Dallas Family Hospital in Dallas, Texas; and Westlake Medical Center in Westlake, California.
Columbia/HCA is based in Louisville, Kentucky. Universal is based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
Prior FTC approval of the divestiture was required under a 1994 consent order settling FTC antitrust charges against the merger of Columbia Healthcare Corporation and HCA-Hospital Corporation of America. The merged entity is known as Columbia/ HCA Healthcare Corporation. The FTC had alleged that the merger would substantially reduce competition for acute-care hospital services in the Augusta, Georgia/Aiken, South Carolina area. The order permitted the merger, so long as Columbia/HCA divested HCA Aiken Regional Medical Center to an FTC-approved purchaser that would operate it in competition with the Columbia/HCA hospital in Augusta.
The Commission vote to approve the divestiture was 5-0.
Copies of the letter of approval, as well as other documents associated with this case, are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326- 2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest FTC news as it is announced, call the FTC's NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web Site at: http://www.ftc.gov
(FTC Docket No. C-3505)