The FTC contends this structure was arranged by Phoebe to avoid federal antitrust scrutiny. On Nov. 16, Phoebe made a formal offer to HCA for Palmyra, an offer that was not reviewed by the Authority. On Dec. 2, 2010, Phoebe's board approved the final terms of the deal, but the transaction still had not been presented to the Authority. The deal was presented to the Authority for the first time at a special meeting held on Dec. 21, 2010. At that meeting, the Authority approved the deal that would give Phoebe control over Palmyra immediately after the deal was closed, the complaint said.
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.
FTC, GA Challenge 'Anticompetitive' Phoebe/Palmyra Acquisition
John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.