The Trib reports that U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab just ordered Highmark to unseal the details of its proposed acquisition of West Penn Allegheny. Judge Schwab found that the public’s right of access to these court documents outweighed Highmark’s interest in confidentiality.
In 2009, West Penn sued Highmark and UPMC for antitrust, but then dismissed Highmark after Highmark bought West Penn. The details of the acquisition were filed under seal as part of West Penn’s motion to dismiss. UPMC, which West Penn is still suing for anticompetive practices, then moved to get the records unsealed and Highmark protested that the documents contained proprietary, confidential information. The court, apparently, was unmoved by Highmark’s protests, in a victory for journalists, muckrackers, and gadflies all over Pittsburgh.