Summit Medical Center in Oakland, Calif., and the Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health hospital system have filed their required pre-merger notification documents with the Federal Trade Commission and the California attorney general's office.
Sutter intends to buy the 420-bed hospital and consolidate its operations with Sutter's 555-bed Alta Bates Medical Center in nearby Berkeley, Calif. They are the two biggest acute-care facilities in the market.
Neither side has disclosed the sale price.
The FTC has until Jan. 29 to grant antitrust approval, launch an investigation by requesting more information or challenge the deal in court.
"We fully expect (the FTC) to ask for more information," said Sutter spokesman Bill Gleeson. The state attorney general's office is not bound by the same 30-day schedule but is expected to follow it.
Summit signed a definitive sales agreement with 26-hospital Sutter in mid-December.