FTC Approves Modified Final Order Settling Charges that Fresenius Medical Care's Acquisition of Liberty Dialysis Holdings Was Anticompetitive in Market for Outpatient Dialysis Clinics

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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a modified final order settling charges that Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA's acquisition of Liberty Dialysis Holdings, Inc. would have been anticompetitive in numerous local markets for outpatient dialysis clinics around the country. The proposed order settling the FTC's charges required Fresenius to sell 60 outpatient dialysis clinics in 43 local markets throughout the United States. By requiring the sales, the FTC settlement preserves competition in each of the local markets, and protects renal care patients from anticompetitive price increases or reductions in quality of care.

In finalizing the settlement order, the FTC has changed some of the divestiture provisions. Under the proposed order, Fresenius was required to sell two Liberty clinics in Memphis, Tennessee to Dialysis Newco, Inc., the buyer of most of the clinics to be divested. The FTC has now modified the order to require Fresenius to sell the two clinics in Memphis to Satellite Healthcare, Inc. within 25 days. According to the FTC, Satellite is well-positioned to restore the competition that would have been lost in Memphis as a result of the transaction, and does not currently operate any dialysis clinics in Memphis.

The Commission vote approving the modified final order and a response to the members of the public who commented on it was 4-0-1, with Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen not participating. (FTC File No. 111-0170, Docket No. C-4348; the staff contact is Lisa DeMarchi Sleigh, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2535; see press release dated February 28, 2012.)

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, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

(FYI 19.2012.wpd)

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