MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Memphis-based health care system won’t acquire two area hospitals after the Federal Trade Commission opposed the $350 million deal.

In a statement Wednesday, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare CEO Michael Ugwueke says his organization and Tenet Healthcare Corporation decided to cancel Methodist’s acquisition of Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis and Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett.

Ugwueke said “we would prefer to focus on continuing our commitment to provide compassionate and high quality care to patients rather than costly and protracted litigation that would have lasted at least 18 months and distracted from our core mission.”

Attorney General Herbert Slatery joined the FTC’s challenge. The FTC argued the plan would have eliminated competition between two of only four Memphis-area hospital providers, spurring higher health care costs and lessening incentive to expand and improve offerings.

Methodist has argued the acquisition had broad support locally and would’ve lead to lower prices, improved quality and enhanced access to care.