Corey Roush Quoted in Global Competition Review on Prospects for Vertical Health Care Mergers

Global Competition Review has quoted Akin Gump litigation partner Corey Roush in the article “Vertically challenged,” which looks at the possibilities for vertical health care mergers, in which a company might buy its supplier or distributor, during the Trump presidency.

Roush, whose practice focuses on antitrust and consumer protection litigation and investigations, said that based on the Trump administration’s antitrust nominations to date as well as who President Trump included on his antitrust transition team, he thinks Trump appointees might be more inclined to consider efficiencies and in some cases to allow efficiencies to outweigh certain expected anticompetitive effects. As a result, he expects companies to at least try to get deals through the agencies based on efficiencies.

Despite statements by two Obama appointees, “We haven’t seen a ton of attempts to enforce on a vertical front,” said Roush. Neither the Federal Trade Commission nor the Justice Department, Roush said, has displayed much confidence about challenging vertical deals in court. If, however, “the agencies can pitch a deal as horizontal, they’re much more confident in the courts.”

Roush sees some provider deals as non-horizontal, such as when a hospital that lacks a cardiac practice acquires a group of cardiologists. “I don’t think there’s much, if any, chance we will see the government spending time and resources trying to block something like that,” Roush predicted, “especially in this administration. There’s going to need to be some horizontal aspect for them to focus on it.”