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Health care industry awaits decision by regulators on Partners bid to acquire South Shore Hospital

David Butler/Globe Staff

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Federal and state investigators are wrapping up a 15-month review of Partners HealthCare System’s bid to take over 378-bed South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, and health care leaders are bracing for an outcome that could upend the ground rules governing Massachusetts hospital and physician networks.

The review has intersected with a broader inquiry unfolding over the past four years into alleged anticompetitive conduct by Partners, the state’s largest hospital and doctors organization. Dozens of lawyers and economists from the US Department of Justice and the state attorney general’s office have conducted scores of interviews in Boston and Washington and compiled thousands of pages of legal documents in an effort to answer the simple question: How big is too big in the world of health care?

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