Evanston (Ill.) Northwestern Healthcare filed notice it will appeal an administrative law judge's decision that, if upheld, would compel the three-hospital system to divest Highland Park (Ill.) Hospital within six months. The Federal Trade Commission filed notice of a cross-appeal. Both steps were procedural formalities that did not detail the grounds for appeal. And both sides requested extensions on the 30-day deadline to file their appeals. Although FTC Administrative Law Judge Stephen McGuire found the 2000 merger of Evanston Northwestern and Highland Park violated antitrust law, McGuire dismissed one count in the FTC complaint. His Oct. 20 ruling marked the first successful challenge of a hospital merger by a federal antitrust agency in more than a decade. Not-for-profit Evanston Northwestern has said it will appeal an unfavorable decision by the five-member FTC to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Chicago. System officials declined to comment and FTC officials could not be reached for comment at deadline. -- by Mark Taylor
Ill. system files notice of appeal in FTC antitrust case
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