• Supreme Court Rules Phoebe Putney's Acquisition is Not Immune Under the State-Action Doctrine
  • March 7, 2013
  • Law Firm: Cadwalader Wickersham Taft LLP - New York Office
  • On February 19, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in FTC v. Phoebe Putney Health System. The Eleventh Circuit had affirmed a district court ruling that Phoebe Putney Health System’s acquisition of Palmyra Medical Center was immune from FTC antitrust scrutiny under Georgia law. In a decision penned by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Court, in its first application of the state-action doctrine to Section 7 of the Clayton Act, held that Georgia had not “clearly articulated and affirmatively expressed” a state policy of displacing the federal antitrust laws that would otherwise apply to Phoebe Putney’s planned acquisition of Palmyra Hospital. As a result, the Supreme Court held that “state-action immunity” did not apply.