An­them loses ap­peal to seal $54B Cigna deal

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS - —Shelby Liv­ingston

It was the $54 bil­lion deal that wouldn’t die. But on Fri­day morn­ing, the pro­posed merger be­tween na­tional health in­sur­ers An­them and Cigna Corp. fi­nally ended.

The U.S. Court of Ap­peals for the District of Columbia Cir­cuit up­held a lower court rul­ing from Fe­bru­ary that blocked the two in­sur­ers from merg­ing on grounds that the com­bi­na­tion would harm com­pe­ti­tion, par­tic­u­larly in the na­tional em­ployer mar­ket.

Two judges on the three-judge panel said the District Court didn’t err in its find­ings.

“We hold that the District Court did not abuse its dis­cre­tion in en­join­ing the merger based on An­them’s fail­ure to show the kind of ex­tra­or­di­nary ef­fi­cien­cies nec­es­sary to off­set the con­ceded an­ti­com­pet­i­tive ef­fect of the merger in the 14 An­them states: the loss of Cigna, an in­no­va­tive com­peti­tor in a highly con­cen­trated mar­ket,” the opin­ion, penned by Judge Ju­dith Rogers, states.

An­them and Cigna could re­quest a hear­ing en banc at the D.C. Cir­cuit or ap­peal to the Supreme Court.

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