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Evanston-based NorthShore University HealthSystem and Advocate Health Care reportedly are calling off their plans to merge, after an adverse ruling by a federal judge today.

The Chicago Tribune reports the death of the merger plan followed a ruling byU.S. District Judge Jorge Alonso granting requests from the Federal Trade Commission and state of Illinois for a preliminary injunction to temporarily stop the merger while the commission held administrative proceedings on it.

The dispute over the merger had been returned to Alonso by a federal appeals court last year, which also sided with the FTC and the state.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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