A judge ruled Wednesday that LCMC Health’s acquisition of three HCA Healthcare hospitals is exempt from federal pre-merger notification requirements, clearing the way for LCMC to continue integrating the Louisiana hospitals into the system.
New Orleans-based LCMC and Nashville, Tennessee-based HCA sued the Federal Trade Commission and other federal agencies on April 19, seeking a summary judgment that the transaction was exempt from pre-notification requirements implemented under the Hart-Scott Rodino Act. The organizations claimed that they satisfied the necessary regulatory requirements through the state's certificate of public advantage law, which shields the merging parties from federal antitrust scrutiny in exchange for prolonged state oversight.
A day later, the FTC sued to stop the $150 million acquisition of Tulane Medical Center, Tulane Lakeside Hospital and Lakeview Regional Medical Center completed in January, claiming that LCMC did not report the deal to federal regulators.
In his ruling Wednesday, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Judge Lance Africk granted the health systems’ request for summary judgment, upholding the health systems’ argument that the federal pre-merger notification requirement under Section 7A of the Clayton Act did not apply to the transaction.