However, U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands in late June ruled that the PPHS was immune from federal antitrust liability under the FTC Act and the Clayton Act.
Earlier this year the FTC voted 5-0 to issue the administrative complaint and authorize staff to file a complaint for preliminary injunction in federal district court. The evidentiary hearing is scheduled before an administrative law judge at the FTC on Sept. 19.
A statement issued by Phoebe Putney reads in part, "While the Hospital Authority has been prepared to sign all necessary documents for the purchase by the close of this week, we are not surprised by the 11th Circuit action at this time. We are, however, pleased that the 11th Circuit has also agreed to expedite the appeal process. "