In a rare display of unanimity, the Supreme Court today ruled 9-0 that the “state action doctrine” did not apply to protect a Georgia hospital merger from antitrust scrutiny.
If a state wants to displace competition, that policy must be “clearly articulated and affirmatively expressed.” The general statute in Georgia did not meet that test.
Doesn’t mean the merger is blocked, just that state action isn’t the defense.
Previous TIE coverage here. Full disclosure: I signed an amicus brief supporting the FTC.