Judge grants injunction in Sanford-Mid Dakota Merger

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BISMARCK, N.D. - A U.S. District Court judge issued an injunction blocking the proposed merger of Sanford Health and Mid Dakota Clinic. The injunction stops merger talks until the Federal Trade Commission holds a hearing in Washington in January.

ND Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said in a release Wednesday the merger would decrease competition, potentially harming North Dakota consumers.

“Competition in the marketplace benefits consumers, including when that competition is for medical care,” said Stenehjem. “I am very pleased with the Court’s decision and feel confident that the Court recognized the potential negative consequences for patients in the Bismarck-Mandan area. Today’s decision is in the best interests of the community.”

Sanford Health spokesperson Jon Berg said in a statement: “Sanford Health and Mid Dakota Clinic are disappointed in the Court’s decision. With all due respect, we believe that the Court is wrong on the law and wrong on the facts. Put simply, the government’s case rests on theories that are at odds with reality here in North Dakota. Sanford and Mid Dakota Clinic are committed to letting Mid Dakota Clinic follow the course that it has selected for maintaining and building on the care it provides to its patients. The Court’s decision will delay the realization of improved access and the introduction of new services we can achieve together, but this is not the end of the road. We are committed to fighting for the communities we serve, and look forward to bringing this case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit as quickly as possible.”