WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced it has approved ProMedica Health System’s divestiture of former rival, St. Luke’s Hospital, under the provisions of an FTC order and after a public comment period.

Because of the divestiture, St. Luke’s Hospital will operate as an independent, standalone community hospital for the Toledo, Ohio, area. ProMedica first acquired St. Luke’s in August 2010. However, the FTC challenged the acquisition. St. Luke’s was kept separate from ProMedica while the FTC looked into the matter, initially through an agreement with the two companies and later by a federal district court.

In 2012 the FTC ruled the acquisition could substantially lessen competition in the region and increase prices for general acute-care inpatient hospital services as well as inpatient obstetric services sold to commercial health plans. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the ruling.

The FTC voted 3-0 to approve the proposed divestiture.

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