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Louisiana AG Says FTC Is Stepping On State Power In Hospital Merger Review

 |  April 24, 2023

There is a dispute between the Louisiana attorney general’s office and the Federal Trade Commission regarding the approval of a $150 million hospital transaction in New Orleans. The attorney general’s office accuses the FTC of unlawfully intruding on state power, as the state had already approved the deal.

The state has joined ongoing litigation in a federal court in New Orleans, where Louisiana Children’s Medical Center and HCA Healthcare Inc have filed lawsuits against the FTC and other defendants.

Read more: Hospital Mergers: The Future of COPA Immunity

The acquisition of three hospitals by Louisiana Children’s Medical Center from HCA Healthcare is being contested on the basis that it may be exempt from disclosure requirements and a waiting period under the federal Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

The FTC has filed lawsuits against Louisiana Children’s Medical Center and HCA Healthcare in federal court in Washington, DC, in order to enforce an antitrust review by the agency.

The main topic of the lawsuits revolves around the concept of “state action immunity,” which grants protection from liability under US antitrust law for certain state activities. States are able to pursue policy interests with some freedom without risk of US antitrust liability.