In response to the announcement that Lifespan Corp. (“Lifespan”) and Care New England Health System (“Care New England”) have terminated their proposed merger, FTC Bureau of Competition Director Holly Vedova issued this statement:
“I am pleased that Lifespan and Care New England have abandoned their efforts to consummate an anticompetitive merger that should never have been attempted in the first place. Had the FTC and the Rhode Island Attorney General not challenged the proposed transaction, it would have combined the two largest healthcare providers in Rhode Island and created a dominant entity that would have led to higher prices and lower quality care for Rhode Islanders.
I am proud to say that this is the third time in less than three weeks that merging parties have abandoned an anticompetitive transaction following an FTC challenge. This enforcement action should serve as notice that the FTC remains vigilant in enforcing the antitrust laws and will stop at nothing to protect healthcare consumers who are faced with unlawful hospital consolidation.
I would like to thank the entire FTC team for their excellent work building a strong case and challenging the transaction. I would also like to thank the office of the Rhode Island Attorney General for their close cooperation and assistance in securing this win for patients and consumers.”
On Feb. 17, 2022, the Commission voted to file an administrative complaintto block the proposed transaction. Thecomplaintalleged that the proposed merger of close competitors Lifespan and Care New England would likely reduce competition in the state of Rhode Island and 19 nearby Massachusettscommunities for inpatient general acute care hospital services and inpatient behavioral health services.