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For-profit hospital chains HCA Healthcare and Steward Health Care have terminated their proposed hospital sales, delivering another win for the Federal Trade Commission’s health care antitrust regulators.

Earlier this month, the FTC had sued to block the merger and another deal between two New Jersey hospital systems. That merger was also scrapped this week — suggesting similar mergers between hospitals that sit in close proximity to each other won’t get past federal trustbusters.


“This should be a lesson learned to hospital systems all over the country and their counsel: The FTC will not hesitate to take action in enforcing the antitrust laws to protect health care consumers who are faced with unlawful hospital consolidation,” Holly Vedova, the FTC’s director of the Bureau of Competition, said in a statement.

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