U.S. trade regulator wins round in fight to stop Chicago hospital merger

By Diane Bartz WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An appeals court sided on Monday with U.S. antitrust enforcers trying to stop a merger of two Chicago hospital systems, handing the government a victory in its effort to block deals that it believes will lead to higher prices. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission had filed a lawsuit in December 2015 to stop the proposed merger of Advocate Health Care and NorthShore University HealthSystem. The FTC appealed, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit said that the lower court’s findings regarding the market was “clearly erroneous.” Essentially, the FTC and the companies proposing to merge had disagreed on how far consumers would drive to be treated at a hospital under ordinary circumstances and the appeals court sided with the FTC.
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