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FTC: Proposed integrated care network would not prompt antitrust challenge

February 13, 2013

The Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition does not intend to challenge a proposal by the Norman (OK) Physician Hospital Organization to create a clinically integrated health care network, the agency said today in a letter responding to the organization's request for an advisory opinion. Based on Norman PHO's representations, Bureau staff concluded that the network's proposed activities "appear unlikely to unreasonably restrain trade." The agency said the proposed program "appears likely, on balance, to be pro-competitive or competitively neutral," adding that "staff's current enforcement view likely would change to the extent that, for whatever reason, Norman PHO's actual operations deviate substantially from its proposal…or otherwise prove to have anticompetitive effects."