A Victory For State-Action Doctrine Critics

Law360, New York (March 4, 2013, 1:54 PM EST) -- On Feb. 19, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court visited a corner of the antitrust map that it last glimpsed during the Reagan administration — the state-action doctrine. The case that prompted this sojourn, FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System Inc.[1], arose when a hospital authority in Albany-Dougherty County, Georgia, attempted to acquire the only other hospital that provided acute-care services in the county.

The Federal Trade Commission challenged the merger, claiming that it would enable the hospital authority to raise prices for such services, but saw its...
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