PACIFICARE/FHP: FTC WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR MERGER
George Cary, the Federal Trade Commission's senior deputyThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
director in its bureau of competition, said last week that
federal regulators "will keep a close eye on the proposed
PacifiCare-FHP merger even after it is completed to check the
effect on medical insurance prices and service in Southern
California." The FTC granted approval last month to the merger
of Cypress, CA-based PacifiCare Health Systems and FHP
International. According to the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, factors
that could cause the FTC to "take remedial action" include an
increase in Medicare HMO prices, the constriction of services in
the region or the failure of "another small competitor" to grow
"into a substantial player within two years." Cary said, "We
never close our books on these things. Someone will make an
effort to come back and look at big mergers. It's something
we're entitled to do ... to see if we got it right"