Part 3 Administrative Complaints
The FTC challenged ProMedica Health System, Inc.’s consummated acquisition of rival St. Luke’s Hospital in Lucas County, Ohio. The FTC’s administrative complaint alleged that the deal will reduce competition and allow ProMedica to raise prices for general acute-care and inpatient obstetrical services. The FTC staff also filed a separate complaint in federal district court seeking an order requiring ProMedica to preserve St. Luke’s as a separate, independent competitor during the FTC’s administrative proceeding. The action in federal district court was brought jointly with the Attorney General of the State of Ohio. The PI hearing was held on February 10 and 11, 2011. The District Court granted the FTC's request for a preliminary injunction. With an Initial Decision issued on 1/05/2012, the Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell ruled that ProMedica Health System, Inc.'s consummated acquisition of rival St. Luke's Hospital harmed competition in violation of U.S. antitrust law and would allow ProMedica to raise the prices of general acute care inpatient hospital services in Lucas County, Ohio (the Toledo area). Judge Chappell ordered ProMedica to divest St. Luke's Hospital to an FTC-approved buyer within 180 days after the order becomes final. On 3/28/2012, The FTC issued its Opinion and Final Order in a 4-0 decision, ordering ProMedica to divest St. Luke's Hospital to an FTC-approved buyer within six months after the Commission order becomes final. ProMedica appealed to the Sixth Circuit, which upheld the Commission's order.