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PinnacleHealth and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center have dropped merger plans in light of a recent federal appeals court ruling granting a preliminary injunction against the move.

In a joint statement released Friday, the suiters maintained the merger “would have served the best interests of patients and the entire central Pennsylvania community. But given the time and cost associated with continuing litigation, PinnacleHealth and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center have decided to bring our integration efforts to a close.”

The Federal Trade Commission and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office sought to block the deal, arguing the merger would have reduced competition and led to “reduced quality and higher health care costs for the area’s employers and residents.”

U.S. District Court Judge John Jones in May ruled against the injunction, but the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision on Sept. 27.

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