By Diane Bartz
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. antitrust enforcers have filed a complaint aimed at stopping a big hospital system in the western United States from buying a series of clinics.
The lawsuit is aimed at stopping Sanford Health, which has more than 40 hospitals and 250 clinics, from buying Mid Dakota Clinic, which has eight facilities primarily in Bismarck, North Dakota, the Federal Trade Commission said.
The FTC, which sued along with the North Dakota attorney general's office, said that the merger would sharply reduce competition to provide a broad range of medical services in Bismarck and the surrounding area.
The FTC filed a complaint in district court on Tuesday asking for a preliminary injunction halting the deal while it is reviewed by an internal FTC judge. In the vast majority of cases, companies scrap their deal if the agency wins the preliminary injunction.
Sanford did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)