The Justice Department concluded that the arrangement meets the criteria of an antitrust safety zone described in the enforcement guidelines jointly issued with the Federal Trade Commission. The participants certified to the government that the value of what they buy through the agreement will amount to less than 20% of each participant's revenue, and the value of products purchased from any one supplier will account for less than 35% of that supplier's sales of the products in the market. The deal could produce lower costs and more services for consumers, the department said in a news release.
"Both health systems, like others around the country, are facing challenges in fulfilling their missions to the community in light of declining governmental reimbursement," the organizations said in a joint statement. "This backdrop served as the impetus for discussion that began in 2007 on areas of collaboration. At the same time, we’ve avoided any topics that would adversely affect the competitiveness of the two systems. "
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