The Federal Trade Commission has dismissed the complaint it issued last November seeking to block OSF Healthcare System's acquisition of rival health care provider Rockford Health System, in light of OSF Healthcare's decision to abandon the proposed transaction.
The Commission voted 5-0 to dismiss the complaint, after OSF announced on Thursday that it would no longer seek to complete the acquisition.
"The Federal Trade Commission is gratified by OSF Healthcare's decision to abandon its attempt to acquire rival hospital services provider Rockford Health System," said Chairman Jon Leibowitz. "As we said in November when we filed our complaint, health care consumers and employers in Rockford would have paid a price had the deal been allowed to proceed. The FTC remains vigilant, and will not hesitate to challenge deals in the health care sector that are likely to decrease competition and lead to higher prices or fewer services."
The FTC issued the complaint in November 2011, alleging that OSF's proposed acquisition of Rockford Health System would reduce competition in two markets in the Rockford area: 1) general acute-care inpatient services, and 2) primary care physician services. Specifically, OSF would control 64 percent of general acute-care inpatient services post-acquisition, and face only one competitor, SwedishAmerican Health System. The two hospitals together would control more than 99 percent of the market for general acute-care services. In the market for primary care physician services, the complaint alleged that, post-acquisition, OSF and SwedishAmerican together would control almost 60 percent of all primary care physician services.
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 email@example.com, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 601 New Jersey Ave., Room 7117, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.