In response to the announcement that Lifespan Corp. (“Lifespan”) and Care New England Health System (“Care New England”) have terminated their proposed merger, Holly Vedova, Director of the FTC’s Competition Bureau, released this statement:
“I am pleased that Lifespan and Care New England have abandoned their efforts to complete an anti-competitive merger that should never have been attempted in the first place. If the FTC and the Rhode Island Attorney General had not challenged the proposed transaction, it would have combined Rhode Island’s two largest health care providers and created a dominant entity that would have resulted in higher prices and lower quality care for Rhode Islanders.
I’m proud to say this is the third time in less than three weeks that the merging parties have dropped an anti-competitive transaction following a challenge from the FTC. This enforcement action should mean that the FTC remains vigilant in enforcing antitrust laws and will stop at nothing to protect healthcare consumers facing illegal hospital consolidation.
I want to thank the entire FTC team for their excellent work in building a strong case and challenging the transaction. I also want to thank the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office for their close cooperation and assistance in securing this victory for patients and consumers.
On February 17, 2022, the Commission voted to file an administrative complaint to block the proposed transaction. The complaint alleged that the proposed merger of close competitors Lifespan and Care New England would likely reduce competition in the state of Rhode Island and 19 neighboring states of Massachusetts. communities for general inpatient acute care hospital services and inpatient behavioral health services.