Federal Trade Commission Withdraws Appeal in Antitrust Case Against LabCorp

WASHINGTON, D.C., 24 March 2011 – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday withdrew its appeal in an antitrust case surrounding Laboratory Corp. of America's (“LabCorp”) $57.5 million deal to purchase Westcliff Medical Laboratories Inc. LabCorp is represented in this matter by Hogan Lovells.

In early December, the FTC sued to block the acquisition, alleging that LabCorp's acquisition of a medical lab in California violated antitrust laws. Last month, expressing doubts about the case, Judge Andrew J. Guilford of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California denied the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction to temporarily block the sale and also dissolved the temporary restraining order that had been in place since mid-December. He ruled that the FTC had not shown it was likely to succeed on the merits of its case during its administrative proceedings evaluating the merger.

The FTC then sought an injunction pending appeal, which Judge Guilford also denied. The FTC then filed an emergency motion with the Ninth Circuit asking that the appellate court issue an injunction pending the appeal. The Ninth Circuit, by a vote of 2-1, denied that motion, and the FTC ultimately decided not to pursue the appeal any further.

The FTC’s administrative hearing against the merger is currently scheduled to begin on 2 May.

Hogan Lovells Washington, D.C. partners Robert Robertson and Corey Roush are leading the LabCorp team, which also includes associates Ben Holt, Leigh Oliver, Justin Bernick, Meghan Edwards-Ford, Christine Habeeb, Will Rawson, Joby Ryan, and Phil Trout. Hogan Lovells Washington, D.C. partner Cate Stetson also took a lead role on the emergency motion before the Ninth Circuit.

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