Jun 15, 2022 - Economy

FTC's Lina Khan jabs at private equity's health care ambitions

Illustration of a seesaw with a giant dog on one side and a bunch of puppies on the other side

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Federal Trade Commission ordered JAB Consumer Partners to divest 16 veterinary clinics that JAB had acquired via a portfolio company's $1.1 billion purchase of SAGE Veterinary Partners.

Why it matters: The accompanying press release suggests that the FTC is looking hard at private equity activity in the healthcare sector, particularly when it comes to roll-ups that it's traditionally ignored.

Details: JAB consented to the order, and also to a requirements that it must notify the FTC 30 days prior to acquiring any U.S. vet clinic that's within 25 miles of another JAB-owned clinic.

  • Plus, it needs FTC approval for any vet clinic purchase within 25 miles of another JAB-owned clinic in California or Texas.

The bottom line: FTC chair Lina Khan has recently said she prefers litigation to negotiation, so it's a bit surprising to see a consent decree here. But this might just be cleaning out the old pipeline, since JAB originally announced this deal last summer, just weeks after Khan was sworn in.

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