Hogan Lovells wins court battle with FTC over major Philadelphia healthcare merger

Press releases | 11 December 2020

Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, 11 December 2020 – A team from global law firm Hogan Lovells has won a major victory in the lawsuit brought by Federal Trade Commission (FTC), seeking to block the proposed merger between Thomas Jefferson University and Albert Einstein Healthcare Network.

Hogan Lovells represented long-time client Albert Einstein Healthcare Network, an academic medical center with 1,000 licensed beds across three general acute care hospitals, a world-renowned inpatient rehabilitation facility, and skilled nursing and ambulatory care facilities in the greater Philadelphia area. It employs 8,500 people from the communities it serves.

The FTC filed suit opposing the merger in February, alleging that the combination of the two systems would negatively impact health care provider competition.

The decision by the federal district court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania rejected this claim.

U.S. District Judge Gerald J. Pappert issued the order and opinion, denying a request for a preliminary injunction. The court concluded: “The Government has not shown ‘that there is a credible threat of harm to competition during the time between the denial of this preliminary injunction and the final adjudication of’ the merits because it has not established its prima facie case.”

Hogan Lovells partner Virginia (Ginny) Gibson commented: “We are gratified by this decision in which the court properly concluded that the government was unable to show that the transaction would reduce competition in the highly-competitive Philadelphia area. The ruling allows Einstein to continue to fulfill its vital public mission of providing necessary healthcare services to underserved Philadelphia communities during a particularly critical time.”

The Hogan Lovells team included Philadelphia-based partners Gibson and Stephen Loney, and Washington, D.C. partners Justin Bernick, Leigh Oliver, and Bob Leibenluft. They were assisted by senior associates Alex Bowerman and Garima Malhotra (both Philadelphia), associates Kendyl Gilmore and Victoria Joseph (both Philadelphia), and associates Molly Pallman, Katie Hughes, Daniel Mader, and John Hamilton (all Washington, D.C.).

For their efforts in this case, partners Gibson and Bernick were recognized as “Litigators of the Week” by the AmLaw Litigation Daily. The article can be viewed here.