Joint Statement of the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice on Certificate-of-Need Laws and South Carolina House Bill 3250

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Matter Number:

V160003

Summary

The FTC and DOJ Antitrust Division jointly submitted a statement, in response to a request by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, regarding the competitive implications of CON laws and a legislative proposal that ultimately would repeal South Carolina’s CON laws. The statement explained that the agencies historically have urged states to consider repeal or reform of their CON laws because they can prevent the efficient functioning of health care markets, and thus can harm consumers. As the statement described, CON laws create barriers to expansion, limit consumer choice, and stifle innovation. They can also deny consumers the benefit of an effective remedy for antitrust violations and can facilitate anticompetitive agreements. In addition, incumbent providers seeking to thwart or delay entry by new competitors may use CON laws to that end. Arguments favoring CON laws have not been supported by the evidence, the statement noted.