BNA has reported the planned merger of Penn State Hershey Medical Center with PinnacleHealth System will be challenged in federal court by federal and state officials.

The Federal Trade Commission and Pennsylvania’s attorney general said they will join together to seek an injunction delaying consummation of the deal. The FTC voted 4-0 to file the complaint.

The FTC said it will file suit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to preserve the status quo while it pursues an administrative action concerning whether the merger would be anticompetitive and lead to higher prices and diminished services for patients in and around Harrisburg, PA.

According to the Administrative Complaint, the link for which is attached, which has not yet been made available to the public, the merged entity would control approximately 64% of this market, “likely leading to increased healthcare costs and reduces quality of care for more than 500,000 local residents and patients,” the state AG’s office said.

According to the FTC, Hershey is a 551 bed, not-for-profit health-care system in Dauphin County that also owns and operates a cancer institute and a children’s hospital.  Its total revenues in fiscal year 2014 were $1.39 billion, according to the FTC.

Pinnacle is a nonprofit organization that runs three hospitals in Dauphin County with a combined 636 beds, according to its website.  Pinnacle had total revenues from July of 2014 to June of 2015 of almost $1.7 billion, according to its mot recent annual report.

The FTC Press Release was issued December 8, 2015.