- Anthem has filed a motion with the Delaware Court of Chancery for a preliminary injunction that would prevent Cigna from terminating their $54 billion merger on April 30 – the health insurance giants' contractual deadline, according to a Law360 report.
- A hearing for the preliminary injunction is set for May 8, the report added.
- Cigna filed a lawsuit against Anthem in February seeking that it pays at least $14 billion in damages and a statement that the deal had been lawfully terminated.
Anthem has been attempting to keep Cigna in the deal for several months. Cigna sued Anthem after a federal judge in the case brought on by the Department of Justice (DOJ) last summer to block the deal due to antitrust concerns ruled in favor of the agency. Yet Anthem then filed a lawsuit of its own seeking a temporary restraining order to keep Cigna from terminating the deal. The restraining order was granted in February.
The decision in the antitrust case is being reconsidered in the Court of Appeals. Anthem has remained firm that medical cost savings of about $2.4 billion would be created with the combined company, offsetting any harm to competition in the national health insurance market. The DOJ, as well as several states and healthcare lobbying groups, have argued that the combined company would result in reduced competition, increased prices to consumers and hindered innovation efforts.
The Court of Appeals may be entertaining Anthem's argument that the federal judge "made serious errors of law, fact and logic," the oral argument held last month indicated.
President Donald Trump recently appointed Makan Delrahim, a former lobbyist for Anthem who previously worked on the antitrust case as a partner at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, to head the DOJ's antitrust division. Experts have argued the appointment is a conflict of interest, though Delrahim could recuse himself from the case. But the payers' contractual deadline is approaching and Anthem has failed to extend it any further. The payers' original deadline for completing the merger was January 31.