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From Antitrust Law Daily, February 18, 2015

Partners HealthCare drops bid to acquire Boston-area hospitals

By Greg Hammond, J.D.

On the heels of the Suffolk County, Massachusetts Superior Court’s rejection of a proposed consent judgment that would have allowed Massachusetts’ largest health care provider system to acquire three acute care hospitals and at least 800 physicians in the greater Boston area, Partners HealthCare System, Inc. has decided not to proceed with its proposed acquisition of South Shore Health and Educational Corp. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office agreed to the stipulation of voluntary dismissal without prejudice, which was filed February 17 (Massachusetts v. Partners HealthCare System, Inc., Dkt. 14-2033-BLS2).

"We appreciate the thoughtful process that Partners engaged in while making this important decision, and believe it is the right choice for Partners and the Commonwealth," Attorney General Maura Healey stated. "We are thankful for the valuable input that was provided by the health care community throughout this process to help reach this result."

The American Antitrust Institute submitted two reports with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office in September and October 2014, urging that the Superior Court reject the proposed settlement.

Although Partners has withdrawn its intent to acquire South Shore, the Attorney General’s office will continue to evaluate Partners’ proposed acquisition of Hallmark Health Corp., if and when Partners and Hallmark complete pending federal Hart-Scott-Rodino regulatory obligations.

"Today’s decision does not change the fact that the work to make health care more affordable remains a major challenge ahead," Healey said. "Our office is committed to tackling that challenge, and we look forward to working cooperatively with all stakeholders on this important issue for our families, businesses, and Massachusetts."

Attorneys: William T. Matlack, Assistant Attorney General. Bruce D. Sokler (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo P.C.) and Brent L. Henry for Partners HealthCare System, Inc. Michael L. Blau (Foley & Lardner LLP) for South Shore Health and Educational Corp. Charles R. Whipple for Hallmark Health Corp.

Companies: Partners HealthCare System, Inc.; South Shore Health and Educational Corp.; Hallmark Health Corp.

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust MassachusettsNews

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