Health Law Highlights

FTC Cleared To Sue Texas Anesthesia Co., But Not PE Firm

Summary of article from Law360, by Bryan Koenig:

A Texas federal judge has ruled that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lacks the authority to pursue antitrust claims against private equity firm Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe, but can proceed against the anesthesia group the firm created, U.S. Anesthesia Partners Inc (USAP). The judge ruled that the FTC could not prove an ongoing or likely future antitrust violation by Welsh Carson, which had sold off its controlling stake in USAP in 2017. This decision could impact the FTC’s efforts to challenge private equity strategies of acquiring entire sectors through individual transactions. The ruling also underscores the FTC’s ongoing struggle to expand its authority under Section 13(b) of the FTC Act. Despite this, the judge found sufficient evidence of ongoing violations by USAP, allowing the FTC’s case against it to proceed.