Utah AG announces settlement with dialysis company over monopoly concerns

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AG Sean Reyes

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes announced a settlement with DaVita, Inc., a dialysis service provider over antitrust concerns.

This settlement comes on the heels of DaVita’s acquisition of the University of Utah’s entire kidney dialysis business which consists of 18 clinics and other assets.

This settlement follows an earlier settlement between the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and DaVita on the companies future merger activities in the Provo area. The FTC originally issued this proposed order due to a concern over DaVita monopolizing the local dialysis provider market.

“The order follows allegations that DaVita’s proposed acquisition of the University of Utah Health’s dialysis clinics would reduce competition in vital outpatient dialysis services in the Provo, Utah market,” according to the FTC.

Currently, there are only three providers of dialysis clinics in the Provo area. With DaVita’s acquisition of the U of U’s clinic, officials say it would reduce competition in the local market.

“With our knowledge of local economic realities, we had some concerns that were not fully addressed in the FTC’s settlement,” says Reyes. “We appreciate that DaVita was able to work with us to efficiently reach a settlement that alleviates many of those concerns.”

The new agreement would mandate that DaVita would be “required to receive prior approval from the FTC before acquiring any new ownership interest in a dialysis clinic anywhere in Utah for a period of ten years.”

DaVita is also “prohibited from entering into or enforcing, directly or indirectly, any non-compete agreements with physicians employed by the University that would restrict their ability to work at a clinic operated by a competitor of DaVita (except to prevent a medical director under a contract with DaVita from simultaneously serving as a medical director at a clinic operated by a competitor); entering into any agreement that restricts Sanderling from soliciting DaVita’s employees for hire; and directly soliciting patients who receive services from the divested clinics for two years,” according to the FTC.

“This settlement will make it easier for Utah dialysis patients to get the affordable care they need than would otherwise have been the case after this acquisition,” says Reyes.

To read the full court document, click here.

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