- Aetna is arguing for its case over its proposed merger with Humana to be heard in the fall and before Anthem and Cigna's case - both of which were recently challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice on antitrust grounds, according to a Reuters report.
- Aetna is stumping for a two-week trial in October while Anthem and Cigna want a three-week trial before the end of the year, Politico Pulse noted.
- All four health insurance giants want their cases to be addressed separately, court filings from Tuesday show. The Justice Department stated they could be ready for trial as soon as February 17, 2017.
The news about Aetna comes just a few days after Anthem had also reportedly pushed for a speedy trial over its own DOJ case. DOJ lawyers argue the mergers are too complicated and unprecedented to be rushed and require more time for pre-trial preparation.
The DOJ says the new companies will increase premiums as well as reduce innovation efforts and competition if the deals were to be finalized as the number of national insurers would fall from five to just three. On July 21, the agency filed lawsuits to block both mergers.
According to Politico, a D.C. circuit Court judge on Thursday will begin to drum up a plan when the parties go to court.
It will be up to Judge John Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to decide whether the Aetna's and Anthem's acquisition plans, valued at $37 billion and at $45 billion, respectively, can proceed.
Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini says the purchase will go through one way or another, the Louisville Business Journal reported. "We believe we're going to get the deal done," Bertolini told reporters during a second-quarter 2016 earnings call this week. "But it would be irresponsible for us not to have a Plan B in place and to understand all the levers we could pull."
Little additional information was given as to what Plan B would look like.