The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit recently issued an opinion with potential antitrust impact on joint ventures—in the healthcare realm and beyond. The case was originally filed by a Dayton-area surgical center, The Medical Center at Elizabeth Place, against a competing local hospital network, Premier Health Partners. The plaintiff claims that Premier Health Partners (Premier) and four of its member hospitals conspired under Section 1 of the Sherman Act – which requires concerted conduct between distinct economic actors — to put it out of business.

The four defendant hospitals had operated independently before joining in 1995 to …