FTC Requests Public Comments on Application from Owners of Surgery Center Holdings, Inc. for Approval to Divest Assets in Central Florida

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The Federal Trade Commission is currently accepting public comments on an application by the owners of Surgery Center Holdings, Inc., known as Surgery Partners, to divest an ambulatory surgery center in Florida, as required by the FTC’s proposed order settling charges that Surgery Partners’ acquisition of Symbion Holdings Corporation would likely be anticompetitive.

According to the FTC’s complaint, the merging companies both operate a large number of ambulatory surgery centers located throughout the country that sell and provide outpatient surgical services to commercial health plans and commercially insured patients. The FTC alleged that, as proposed, the merger would have combined the only two multi-specialty ambulatory surgical centers in the Orange City/Deltona area of Florida, leaving commercial health plans and commercially insured patients there with only one meaningful alternative to Surgery Partners’ outpatient surgical services.

Under the terms of the Commission’s October 2014 proposed order, Surgery Partners agreed to divest Symbion’s ownership interest in the Blue Springs Surgery Center in Orange City, Florida, to a Commission-approved buyer. Surgery Partners now requests FTC approval to divest this ownership interest to Dr. Mark W. Hollmann, whom the divestiture application describes as well-suited to maintain the ownership interest in the Blue Springs Surgery Center as an independent and effective competitor.

The Commission will decide whether to approve the proposed divestiture after expiration of 30-day public comment period. Public comments may be submitted until January 9, 2015. Written comments should be sent to: FTC Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Comments can also be filed electronically.

Copies of the application can be found on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release. (FTC File No. 141 0183; Docket No. C-4494; the staff contact is Jill Frumin, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2758.)

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{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Room CC-5422, 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.

Contact Information

Betsy Lordan
Office of Public Affairs