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Published: Wednesday, 10/13/2010

Judge: District court not place to probe merger


U.S. District Court in Washington is not the appropriate court to decide whether to enforce Federal Trade Commission requests for information about St. Luke's Hospital becoming part of ProMedica Health System, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

The FTC is investigating whether federal competition laws would be violated by St. Luke's becoming part of ProMedica. It sought a court order for information from St. Luke's, ProMedica, and ProMedica-owned Paramount Health Care by Oct. 21.

The transaction closed Aug. 31, but there is a "hold-separate" agreement with the FTC in place until Oct. 30. Under that agreement, ProMedica and St. Luke's have to delay integration or consolidation until Oct. 30, unless FTC officials deem the relationship anti-competitive, court documents state.

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