BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A heath care economist has told a federal judge he thinks the decision by St. Luke's Health System to swallow up a smaller competitor is good for health care across Idaho.

The testimony of Alain Enthoven came Tuesday in the federal antitrust lawsuit between St. Luke's and competitor Saint Alphonsus Health System. The trial — now in its fourth week — focuses on St. Luke's acquisition of Saltzer Medical Group.

In 2012, Saint Alphonsus, along with the Idaho Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission sued in federal court, arguing the St. Luke's buyout was an unfair market grab. The Idaho Statesman reports Enthoven — a retired Stanford University business professor — said St. Luke's growth is essential toward the bigger goal of lowering health care costs statewide.