The Federal Trade Commission has approved the application of Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corporation to divest its 84 percent partnership interest in the Alaska Surgery Center in Anchorage, Alaska, to Surgical Care Affiliates, Inc. Both Columbia/HCA and Surgical Care Affiliates are headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.
Columbia/HCA acquired the Alaska Surgery Center in its $692 million acquisition of Medical Care America, Inc. Divestiture of the Center was required under a December 1994 consent order Columbia/HCA signed with the FTC to settle charges that the acquisition would violate antitrust laws by combining the owners of two competing health facilities that offer outpatient surgery services in Anchorage, possibly leading to higher prices or reduced quality for these services. The settlement permitted the merger, but required Columbia/HCA to divest the Alaska Surgery Center to an entity that will operate it as an ongoing, viable outpatient surgical facility in competition with Columbia/HCA, thus restoring the competition lost in the merger. The divestiture plan required Commission approval.
The Commission vote to approve the divestiture was 5-0.
Copies of the letter of approval, Columbia/HCA?s application and the 1994 consent order are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710. FTC news releases and other materials also are available on the Internet at the FTC's World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov
(FTC Docket No. C-3544)