A federal judge has halted a deal between Rockford Health System and Peoria-based OSF HealthCare until the Federal Trade Commission can review it.
U.S. District Judge Frederick Kapala in Rockford made the ruling Thursday. He is ordering the two health systems to maintain the status quo for now.
The FTC challenged OSF's proposed acquisition of Rockford Health System on antitrust grounds. OSF runs OSF St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford. Rockford Health operates Rockford Memorial Hospital.
The ruling comes before an April 17 hearing on the proposed deal in Washington.
Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, says the ruling is a "victory for both competition and consumers.''
Officials at OSF and Rockford Health System say they are looking forward to making their case in Washington.