(Legal Newsline) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Jan. 13 that
its staff has submitted a supplemental comment and analysis to the Virginia
Department of Health.
In the comments, the staff voices opposition to issuing a
letter authorizing a cooperative agreement to Mountain States Health Alliance
and Wellmont Health System.
first commented on the issue Oct. 14. After the comment, Mountain States
and Wellmont provided responses. The staff’s new comments reply to the responses
and provide a chart analyzing the parties’ proposed cooperative agreement
The FTC’s Bureau of Competition, Bureau of Economics, and Office of Policy
Planning reiterated concern for the proposed merger. The staff believes the
merger would likely be anticompetitive, that it could harm the residents of
southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee.
The staff notes the two
hospital systems have not provided sufficient evidence that the merger would
bring benefits to outweigh the negatives. As a result of this failure, the
staff believes that the parties “failed to meet their burden by a wide margin.”
voted 3-0 to issue the staff's public comment to the Virginia Department of