- The Justice Department reportedly has determined that an Anthem-Cigna marriage would harm competition in the health insurance industry and that selling parts of their businesses won’t solve the problem, Bloomberg reported.
- The companies met a week ago with Justice’s third-highest official, Bill Baer, to try and secure the department’s approval for the $54 billion deal.
- The government is expected to decide on the merger this month. "We actually thought it might be before the end of June," Sen. Richard Blumental (D-CT) told The Connecticut Mirror.
“While the DOJ is reported to have expressed openness to suggested remedies from the companies, we see the likelihood of close as very slim at this junction,” Leerink Partners analyst Ana Gupte said in a research note.
As Bloomberg noted, DOJ is amendable to hearing proposals to resolve the issues.
In March, the California Department of Insurance and commissioner Dave Jones grilled Anthem and Cigna about the benefits the planned merger would bring, saying the burden was on the companies to show that a merger is in the best interests of consumers and the healthcare marketplace.
Anthem announced plans to buy Cigna for $54.2 billion in cash and stock just weeks after Aetna agreed to purchase Humana. The proposed megamergers — Anthem and Cigna would create an insurance giant with more than 53 million members — have raised concerns about less choice and higher premiums, as the costs of consummating them has to come from somewhere.
Bloomberg reported if the deal doesn't close, smaller players in the game like Molina, Centene and WellCare could be acquisition targets for Cigna.