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Judge considers challenge to Inova acquisition

Washington Post, May 16, 2008

This summer, Judge Claude Hilton of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, VA will have to answer whether it is in the interests of consumers for a dominant hospital chain to swallow up a pretty good community hospital if the merger will raise prices but offer the prospect of improvements in the quality of care. That is the issue presented by a decision from the Federal Trade Commission and Virginia's attorney general to challenge to Inova Health System's planned acquisition of Prince William Hospital. The decision will determine whether the FTC can once again begin enforcing the antitrust laws in the hospital and health markets after suffering a series of adverse court rulings over the past two decades.