Waxman said the hospital authority, with a duty under state law to serve the poor, had only two ways to find additional needed bed space.
"It could have tried to convince the state to spend three times as much money to get half the number of beds," by building a new facility, Waxman said. Or, "it could buy the other hospital."
A decision is expected by June.
The case is Federal Trade Commission v. Phoebe Putney Health System, 11-1160.