Clarification From High Court On State Action Exemption

Law360, New York (February 19, 2013, 5:22 PM EST) -- In a unanimous opinion Feb. 19, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Eleventh Circuit in Federal Trade Commission v. Phoebe Putney Health System Inc. and found that a merger of two Georgia hospitals was not immune from the federal antitrust laws under the "state action" exemption. Writing for a unanimous court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor found that the exemption was not met because the potentially anti-competitive merger was not "the inherent, logical or ordinary result of the exercise of authority" granted to the state subdivision. This latest of many court opinions to explain the exemption should provide clearer guidance to municipalities and even private actors exercising authority delegated by a state....

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