DOJ files antitrust lawsuit dealing with “allocated territories”

From Becker’s:

The U.S. Department of Justice sued the four-hospital Charleston (W.Va.) Area Medical Center and St. Mary’s Medical Center, a Huntington, W.Va.-based teaching hospital, on Thursday for agreeing to allocate territories in which to market their competing services.

In the lawsuit, the DOJ alleges CAMC and St. Mary’s curtailed competition for years through various marketing allocation agreements. For example, the DOJ alleges CAMC agreed not to use print or outdoor advertisements in Cabell County W.Va., if St. Mary’s did not put them in Kanawha County, W.Va. The DOJ claims this practice is unlawful and deprives consumers from the benefits of competitive information needed to make informed healthcare decisions. It also denied physicians of the opportunity to advertise to more patients, the DOJ claims.

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