FTC Seeks U.S. Supreme Court Review of Appeals Court Rulingin Phoebe Putney/Palmyra Park Hospital Case

Solicitor General of the United States Files Petition on Behalf of the Commission

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Acting at the request of the Federal Trade Commission the Solicitor General of the United States petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review a recent federal appeals court ruling concerning Phoebe Putney Health System's acquisition of Palmyra Park Hospital in Albany, Georgia. The filing, known as a petition for certiorari, was made with the Court today.

On April 20, 2011, the FTC filed a complaint in federal district court against Phoebe Putney's acquisition of Palmyra seeking to block the proposed combination of the only two hospitals in Albany, alleging that the deal would reduce competition significantly and allow the combined Phoebe/Palmyra to raise prices for general acute-care hospital services charged to commercial health plans, harming patients and local employers and employees. On June 27, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Albany Division, dismissed the FTC's complaint and denied its motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the deal from going forward. The FTC then appealed the district court decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which affirmed the judgment of the district court on December 9, 2011.

The Commission vote authorizing the staff to request that the Solicitor General file the petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court was 4-0.

The FTC's Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust@ftc.gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

(Phoebe Cert.final)
(Civ. No. 1:11-cv-58 (WLS)

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