A federal appeals court today decided in favor of the Federal Trade Commission in a closely watched antitrust case (FTC v. St. Luke’s Health System) involving the acquisition of a physician practice by a hospital system. The FTC and others challenged the acquisition on the basis of the market power it assumed would be created for primary care physician services. In rejecting the hospital’s defense, the circuit court found that “[a]lthough the district court believed that the merger would eventually ‘improve the delivery of health care’…the judge did not find that the merger would increase competition or decrease prices.”