The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has brought its first antitrust lawsuit under Chair Lina Khan challenging serial acquisitions by private equity firms, reports the Financial Times
(21 September, Palma), accusing Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe of a “multiyear anti-competitive scheme” targeting anesthesiology practices. The defendants are Welsh Carson, a New York-based buyout group, and US Anesthesia Partners (USAP), a business it created in 2012 that has acquired more than a dozen anesthesiology practices in Texas. The FTC alleged they carried out a “roll-up scheme, systematically buying up nearly every large anesthesia practice in the state to create a single dominant provider with the power to demand higher prices." The agency also accused the companies of raising anesthesia prices via “price-setting agreements” with independent practices, and said USAP inked a deal that kept out a “significant competitor." “What happened in Texas is happening across the US,” Khan wrote in an opinion piece, for the Financial Times, highlighting private equity firms’ serial acquisitions in nursing homes, apartment buildings, emergency medicine clinics, and opioid treatment centers. The regulator is seeking a permanent injunction for alleged violations including unlawful monopolization and acquisitions, conspiracy to monopolize, unfair methods of competition, and unlawful restraints on trade.
From "FTC Lawsuit Targets Serial Acquisitions by Private Equity"
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