“It would be surprising and distressing were the Third Circuit to allow the district court decision to stand.”

The quote forming the title of this post is from this story by Carrie Salls today on PennRecord. The district court decision in question is a ruling denying the Federal Trade Commission’s request of an injunction blocking a merger of two Harrisburg-area hospitals. The story reports that the district court’s ruling marked the first defeat on an attempted federal court hospital merger challenge in more than 10 years for the FTC.”

The quote is by former FTC general counsel Stephen Calkins, who predicts the circuit will rule on the antitrust appeal by the end of the summer (the district court ruling reportedly was in May, but the FTC already filed its reply brief earlier this week, opening brief here). Calkins also is quoted saying “it is especially important for the FTC to win the Third Circuit appeal,” and describing the district court ruling as “appallingly bad.”