On June 22, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General of North Dakota filed a complaint to block Sanford Health’s proposed acquisition of Mid Dakota Clinic, seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop the deal and to maintain the status quo pending an administrative trial on the merits of the case.
The FTC’s complaint alleges that the deal would reduce competition for adult primary care physician services, pediatric services, obstetrics and gynecology services, and general surgery physician services in the greater Bismarck and Mandan metropolitan area or four counties.
According to the complaint, Sanford and Mid Dakota are each other’s closest competitors in a four-county Bismarck-Mandan region of North Dakota, an area with a population of 125,000. The FTC’s complaint alleges that the transaction would create a group of physicians with at least 75 to 85 percent share in the provision of adult primary care physician services (59 out of 77 physicians in the area), pediatric services (10 out of 12 physicians), and obstetrics and gynecology (15 out of 17 physicians) services. Moreover, the complaint alleged that the merged firm would be the only physician group offering general surgery physician services in the relevant geographic market with a total of ten physicians. In total, the two firms would combine approximately 94 physicians in the relevant geographic market.