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  • Yesterday, 3:21 AM
    • The second of two proposed health insurance mega-mergers goes to trial today in Washington, D.C.
    • The $37B combination of Aetna (NYSE:AET) and Humana (NYSE:HUM), two of the nation's largest insurers, is being challenged by the Justice Department as being bad for consumers.
    • Will the 17M seniors in the Medicare Advantage market be left with too little choice and face higher prices?
    | Yesterday, 3:21 AM | 2 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 21, 2:10 AM
    • The stakes are high as the DOJ's antitrust case against Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) and Cigna's (NYSE:CI) merger gets underway in Washington, D.C.
    • Expect more of the usual drama: The $54B tie-up is being billed as bad for consumers and both companies have accused each other of breaching their merger agreement.
    • The case will be followed by a second trial involving the proposed combination of Aetna (NYSE:AET) and Humana (NYSE:HUM) on Dec. 5.
    | Mon, Nov. 21, 2:10 AM | 1 Comment
  • Fri, Aug. 5, 12:57 PM
    • The judge overseeing two U.S. cases challenging mergers among four of the biggest health insurers gave up one, saying he will keep the case against Aetna's (AET +2.4%) deal for Humana (HUM +2.8%) while leaving the challenge to Anthem’s (ANTM +0.7%) takeover of Cigna (CI -0.1%) to another judge.
    • The decision is seen improving the odds for rulings on both mergers by year-end and lowering the chance that they fall apart beforehand.
    • Judge Bates, a Republican who has ruled against the government in the past and has voiced skepticism of various Justice Department actions, is considered more favorable towards the proposed  AET-HUM deal, while the judge assigned to the ANTM-CI case is a Democrat appointed to the bench by Pres. Obama.
    | Fri, Aug. 5, 12:57 PM
  • Thu, Jul. 21, 10:38 AM
    • It's official. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed an antitrust suit in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC attempting to block the Anthem (ANTM +1.8%) and Cigna (CI +0.8%) merger and the Aetna (AET +0.9%) and Humana (HUM -0.4%) merger. In the complaint, the DOJ said the deals would be anti-competitive and would not be in the best interests of consumers.
    • Unsurprisingly, the four companies take the opposite view.
    | Thu, Jul. 21, 10:38 AM | 36 Comments
  • Thu, Jul. 21, 5:27 AM
    • With a decision on their merger expected within days, Aetna (NYSE:AET) and Humana (NYSE:HUM) remain in discussions with the DOJ, trying to convince federal regulators that their $37B deal will be good for seniors in the Medicare Advantage market.
    • The insurers have pitched divestitures, with contracts ready to be signed for assets in markets where their coverage overlaps, but so far, the DOJ has not been convinced by the offers.
    | Thu, Jul. 21, 5:27 AM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Jul. 19, 10:37 AM
    | Tue, Jul. 19, 10:37 AM | 32 Comments
  • Sun, Jul. 10, 9:47 AM
    • WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG) and Centene (NYSE:CNC) have made competing offers for the Medicare Advantage insurance policies - covering about 350K people - that Aetna (NYSE:AET) plans to shed in order to acquire Humana (NYSE:HUM).
    • Aetna presented the divestiture plan on Friday, when meeting with DOJ officials in a bid to address their antitrust concerns.
    | Sun, Jul. 10, 9:47 AM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Jul. 1, 3:38 PM
    • Aetna (AET -1.6%) is preparing to sell assets worth several billion dollars as it seeks to ease regulatory concerns over its proposed $37B takeover of Humana (HUM -2.3%), Bloomberg reports.
    • The process is advanced and assets could be marketed to potential buyers within weeks, although any asset sale would be conditional on the completion of the merger, according to the report.
    • The takeover has a higher probability of winning approval than reflected in market trading, says analyst Ira Gorsky, since the combination is easier to fix than the Anthem-Cigna deal because it is primarily about Medicare Advantage, which is based on distinct, local markets.
    | Fri, Jul. 1, 3:38 PM | 5 Comments
  • Thu, Jun. 23, 3:57 PM
    • California's insurance commissioner urges national antitrust regulators to block Aetna's (AET +0.7%) proposed $34B takeover of Humana (HUM -0.2%), saying a merger would reduce competition in already heavily concentrated commercial health insurance markets in California and across the U.S.
    • The commissioner also cites the negative impact on millions of seniors nationally who rely on Medicare Advantage, saying an Aetna-Humana combination would have 26% of all Advantage enrollees in the U.S., more than any other insurer.
    • The statement comes just days after California's Department of Managed Health Care - the only regulatory agency in the state with official oversight of the deal - said it had approved the deal with conditions, including that AET hold down premium increases and invest $50M in communities.
    | Thu, Jun. 23, 3:57 PM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Feb. 16, 4:42 AM
    • Aetna (NYSE:AET) has received authorization from Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation for its $37B acquisition of Humana (NYSE:HUM), securing 10 of the 20 state approvals required for the largest deal ever in the U.S. insurance industry.
    • The announced mergers of Aetna and Humana, as well as Anthem's bid for Cigna, have come under increased scrutiny as the transactions would reduce the number of nationwide health insurers from five to three.
    | Tue, Feb. 16, 4:42 AM | 3 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 13, 3:23 AM
    • Although still under review by the Justice Department, Aetna (NYSE:AET) Chief Executive Mark Bertolini expects the company's $37B acquisition of rival Humana (NYSE:HUM) to close this year.
    • "So far, we have nothing to believe it will be any slower than that, or any faster," Bertolini said in an interview at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference.
    • Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) CEO Joseph Swedish also anticipates the firm's $47B merger with Cigna (NYSE:CI) to close in 2016 - moves that will further consolidate the U.S. health insurance industry.
    | Wed, Jan. 13, 3:23 AM | 1 Comment
  • Oct. 19, 2015, 4:52 PM
    | Oct. 19, 2015, 4:52 PM
  • Oct. 19, 2015, 3:05 AM
    • Shareholders will get their say this week on two proposed health insurer mergers: Aetna's (NYSE:AET) $37B offer for Humana (NYSE:HUM), and Centene's (NYSE:CNC) $6.3B bid for Health Net (NYSE:HNT).
    • Although consumer advocates have raised concerns about whether the combination will lead to less competition and higher prices, proxy advisors ISS and Glass Lewis have given both deals a thumbs-up.
    • Aetna and Humana investors are scheduled to vote this afternoon and Centene and Health Net shareholders will cast their ballots on Friday.
    | Oct. 19, 2015, 3:05 AM
  • Sep. 2, 2015, 1:29 PM
    • Forbes Contributor Bruce Japsen reports that the American Hospital Association (AHA) is urging the U.S. Justice Department to closely scrutinize Aetna's (AET +1.1%) proposed $37B takeout of Humana (HUM +0.4%). The hospital lobby says the deal would give Aetna too much power to raise prices of Medicare Advantage plans, the privately run portion of the Medicare program that has seen spectacular growth over the past few years.
    • Humana is the second largest insurer of Medicare Advantage while Aetna is the fourth largest. Almost one third of Medicare beneficiaries (~17M Americans) participate in Medicare Advantage.
    • AHA SVP and General Counsel Melinda Hatton says, "The deal will not just eliminate current competition between Humana and Aetna, it will eliminate future competition between them. It may create monopsony and enable the merged firm to exploit small, relatively powerless providers. Second, the merger may create downstream market power which could offset the desirable effects of countervailing power and premiums to consumers. Finally, the merger might create countervailing power but the merged firm might exercise it in anti-competitive ways, harming consumers or small providers."
    • It's doubtful, though, that the AHA's posturing will scupper the deal.
    | Sep. 2, 2015, 1:29 PM | 6 Comments
  • Jul. 24, 2015, 6:15 AM
    • Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) has agreed to buy Cigna (NYSE:CI) in a deal valued at $54.2B, wrapping up a year of negotiations and creating the largest health insurer in the U.S.
    • Cigna shareholders will get $103.40 per share in cash and 0.5152 Anthem shares.
    • The deal comes three weeks after Aetna (NYSE:AET) struck a deal to buy Humana (NYSE:HUM) for $37B and is part of an industry-wide consolidation following the roll-out of Obamacare.
    | Jul. 24, 2015, 6:15 AM | 14 Comments
  • Jul. 8, 2015, 6:19 AM
    • In a regulatory filing, Humana (NYSE:HUM) and Aetna (NYSE:AET) have disclosed the termination fees to be paid if their $37B merger fails.
    • Aetna would pay a termination fee of $1.69B, while Humana would pay $1.31B. Aetna is also required to pay Humana $1B if the deal is not closed by June 30, 2016.
    | Jul. 8, 2015, 6:19 AM