Hogan Lovells beats FTC in groundbreaking state action immunity litigation

Press releases | 03 October 2023

Washington, D.C., 3 October 2023 – The antitrust team from global law firm Hogan Lovells defeated the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in groundbreaking litigation over Louisiana Children’s Medical Center’s (LCMC) US$150 million acquisition of three New Orleans area hospitals from HCA Healthcare and Tulane University. On 27 September, U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted LCMC’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing the FTC’s claims with prejudice. Judge Africk held that because the acquisition was approved under Louisiana’s Certificate of Public Advantage (“COPA”) statute, the transaction was exempt from the federal antitrust laws and LCMC and HCA did not need to report the transaction or submit to an investigation under the Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger notification act.

The Hogan Lovells team represented LCMC throughout the process, guiding it through the initial application and approval process at the state level before successfully defending the transaction against the FTC challenge.

“We are proud to have helped LCMC Health defeat the FTC’s challenge in this matter,” added Ken Field, Head of Hogan Lovells’ Health Care Antitrust practice. “LCMC trusted us with this groundbreaking strategy to address local health needs and we look forward to working with other systems around the country to do the same.”

Hogan Lovells regularly counsels health systems on their strategic growth initiatives and represents clients in many different sectors in merger and other antitrust litigation.  This case is Hogan Lovells’ third major antitrust litigation win in the life sciences sector in three years, following the successful US$13 billion UnitedHealth-Change Healthcare merger win against the U.S. Department of Justice in September 2022 and the defeat of the FTC’s challenge to Thomas Jefferson University’s merger with Albert Einstein Healthcare Network in March 2021.

In addition to Field, the Hogan Lovells litigation team includes partners Benjamin Holt and Sean Marotta and senior associate Christopher Fitzpatrick (all Washington, D.C.).