Antitrust Laws: Those federal and state laws, and their enforcement, that protect trade and commerce from unlawful restraints and monopolies or unfair business practices.Health Facility Merger: The combining of administrative and organizational resources of two or more health care facilities.Economic Competition: The effort of two or more parties to secure the business of a third party by offering, usually under fair or equitable rules of business practice, the most favorable terms.Hospital Shared Services: Cooperation among hospitals for the purpose of sharing various departmental services, e.g., pharmacy, laundry, data processing, etc.United States Federal Trade Commission: An independent administrative agency concerned with maintaining competitive free enterprise by prohibiting unfair methods of competition and unfair deceptive acts or practices.Health Care Sector: Economic sector concerned with the provision, distribution, and consumption of health care services and related products.Competitive Medical Plans: Alternative health care delivery mechanisms, such as PREFERRED PROVIDER ORGANIZATIONS or other health insurance services or prepaid plans (other than HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS), that meet Medicare qualifications for a risk-sharing contract. (From Facts on File Dictionary of Health Care Management, 1988)Hospital-Physician Joint Ventures: A formal financial agreement made between one or more physicians and a hospital to provide ambulatory alternative services to those patients who do not require hospitalization.Competitive Bidding: Pricing statements presented by more than one party for the purpose of securing a contract.Legislation, Hospital: Laws and regulations concerning hospitals, which are proposed for enactment or enacted by a legislative body.Group Purchasing: A shared service which combines the purchasing power of individual organizations or facilities in order to obtain lower prices for equipment and supplies. (From Health Care Terms, 2nd ed)