Judge blocks $37 billion merger of Aetna, Humana

A federal judge ruled on Monday that a $37 billion merger between the health insurance giants Aetna and Humana should not be allowed to go through on antitrust grounds, siding with the Justice Department, which had been seeking to block the deal.

The deal is one of two mega-mergers proposed by the nation’s largest health insurers; both were challenged by the Obama administration. Another federal judge is expected to rule soon on the case involving Anthem and Cigna, the larger of the two deals, at $48 billion.

Citing the sweeping changes to the industry caused by the Affordable Care Act, insurers had embarked on a frenzy of deal making a year and a half ago. The proposed combinations promised to reshape the industry by shrinking the number of the largest insurers to three, from five; the largest, UnitedHealth Group, remained independent.

The industry finds itself in arguably an even greater state of flux, with President Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress having vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something else, the details of which are unknown. Monday’s decision adds to the uncertainty facing the industry

Read the full story at the New York Times: Judge Blocks Aetna’s $37 Billion Deal for Humana – The New York Times

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