Georgia Department of Law, from the office of Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General


Attorney General's Office Files Joint Complaint with the Federal Trade Commission Seeking to Enjoin Phoebe Putney's Acquisition of Palmyra Park Hospital

April 20, 2011

The Georgia Attorney General’s Office filed a joint complaint yesterday with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in federal district court in Albany, Ga. seeking to delay Phoebe Putney Health System’s proposed acquisition of Palmyra Park Hospital after the FTC decided by a 5-0 vote to request an injunction of the merger. The Attorney General’s Office and the FTC are seeking an order enjoining any transaction involving Phoebe Putney,the Hospital Authority of Albany-Dougherty County or PalmyraParkHospital under which Phoebe Putney would acquire control of PalmyraParkHospital’s operations, until the conclusion of the FTC’s administrative proceeding and any subsequent appeals.

The complaint alleges that the transaction as proposed would violate federal law by eliminating the vigorous competition that currently exists between Phoebe Putney and Palmyra ParkHospital in Albany and the surrounding six-county area. The complaint also alleges that Phoebe Putney has used the Hospital Authority to cloak private, anticompetitive activity in governmental guise in the hopes that it would exempt the acquisition from federal antitrust law.

The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendants have violated the law. A complaint is filed only when there is “reason to believe” that the law has or is being violated. The allegations will be ruled upon after a formal hearing by a judge.