FTC submits appeal request in Phoebe-Palmyra case

The Federal Trade Commission, as a part of their appeal process with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, filed an opening case brief requesting an opportunity to present oral argument for their appeal.

In June, Judge Louis Sands dismissed the FTC's case saying Phoebe-Palmyra merger is immunized from antitrust scrutiny by the state action doctrine; Sands also dismissed the FTC's request for a preliminary injunction to postpone the merger of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and Palmyra Medical Center.

"The legal issues presented in this case are complex, and the factual circumstances are unusual in the context of the state action doctrine â" which formed the primary basis for the district court's ruling," the FTC says in their appellate brief.

The 73-page document goes into detail with court case examples about the FTC's investigation against Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and the Hospital Authority of Albany-Dougherty County, saying if the entities purchase Palmyra, it will create a monopoly and that Phoebe Putney and the Hospital Authority "determined that the only to stem Palmyra's growing threat was to buy it."

"The Court should reverse the district court's decision and issue a preliminary injunction requiring the merging parties to maintain the status quo during the pendency of the Commission's administrative proceedings," the document states.