Feds to appeal ruling in Albany hospital case

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) -- Officials with the Federal Trade Commission say they will appeal a judge's ruling that a Georgia hospital group is immune from attempts by the FTC to block its acquisition of rival Palmyra Park Hospital.
Georgia's Attorney General had filed a joint complaint with the FTC seeking to delay Phoebe Putney's proposed acquisition of Palmyra Park Hospital. The complaint alleged the transaction would violate federal law by eliminating competition between Phoebe Putney and Palmyra Park Hospital.
U.S. District Court Judge Louis Sands ruled this week the parties could collaborate and work toward a deal without being subject to antitrust liability if certain steps are taken.
The Albany Herald reports that FTC officials say they will appeal because they maintain the deal will create a monopoly, driving up healthcare costs in the Albany area.

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