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.
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