FTC: Lifespan, Care New England Merger Would Have Brought ‘Higher Prices and Lower Quality Care’

FTC, Lifespan, Care New England

Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Competition Director Holly Vedova issued a statement on the termination of the proposed merger between Lifespan and Care New England Wednesday (March 2), saying she was “pleased.”

“I am pleased that Lifespan and Care New England have abandoned their efforts to consummate an anticompetitive merger that should never have been attempted in the first place,” Vedova said.

She added that if the transaction hadn’t been challenged, the merger would’ve combined the two biggest healthcare providers in Rhode Island and made a dominant entity that would’ve led to “higher prices and lower quality care for Rhode Islanders.”

Vedova noted that this wasn’t even the first time this has happened recently, with another merger being stopped just weeks ago.

“This enforcement action should serve as notice that the FTC remains vigilant in enforcing the antitrust laws and will stop at nothing to protect healthcare consumers who are faced with unlawful hospital consolidation,” she said.

The merger had been challenged in February when the FTC voted to file an administrative complaint to block it. The allegations against the merger were that the merger would cut competition and impact the level of care in the area.

In other merger and acquisition news, the buy now, pay later (BNPL) industry has been consolidating more heavily, PYMNTS wrote last month.

Read more: Sezzle, Zip Deal Shows BNPL’s Consolidation Trend May Continue in 2022

Per the report, Australia’s Zip finally cinched its offer to buy fellow BNPL company Sezzle in a deal worth $352 million.

BNPL is facing the qualms of any newer industry, and while BNPL has growth as a hallmark, that could also pinch the margins. PYMNTS noted that in any merger or acquisition deal, scale becomes a reality after the closure of a deal and assets and brands coalesce under one roof.

Zip and Sezzle’s deal includes a combined entity with 8.8 million customers and more than 60,000 merchants.