The Federal Trade Commission and the Commonwealth of Virginia filed a complaint in federal court yesterday seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop Inova Health System Foundation’s (Inova) proposed acquisition of Prince William Health System (PWHS) pending a full administrative trial on the merits.
The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction under Section 13(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. § 53(b), to enjoin the proposed acquisition. The federal district court complaint alleges that the acquisition would violate federal antitrust laws by reducing competition for general acute care inpatient hospital services in Northern Virginia, and that if Inova is allowed to acquire PWHS, consumers will pay higher prices and lose the benefits of non-price competition.
On May 9, 2008, the Commission issued an administrative complaint challenging the acquisition. The press release announcing the filing of the administrative complaint and a link to the complaint can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/05/inova.shtm.
NOTE: The Commission issues or files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the named parties have violated the law.
Copies of the complaint are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. The FTC’s Bureau of Competition seeks to prevent business practices that restrain competition. The Bureau carries out its mission by investigating alleged law violations and, when appropriate, recommending that the Commission take formal enforcement action. To notify the Bureau concerning particular business practices, call or write the Office of Policy and Coordination, Room 394, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, DC 20580, Electronic Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Telephone (202) 326-3300. For more information on the laws that the Bureau enforces, the Commission has published “Promoting Competition, Protecting Consumers: A Plain English Guide to Antitrust Laws,” which can be accessed at http://www.ftc.gov/bc/compguide/index.htm.