Approval reportedly near for CVS-Aetna deal

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Some divestiture of assets is expected to be required

WASHINGTON — CVS Health Corp.’s planned acquisition of Aetna Inc. is close to getting the official go-ahead from federal regulators, according to a report published Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal, which said the deal could receive formal antitrust approval from the U.S. Department of Justice within the next few weeks.

That approval is expected to come with conditions, as regulators reportedly have some concerns about competition for Medicare prescription drug coverage, and are expected to require the companies to sell off some plans. The scope of the asset sales needed to gain approval for the nearly $70 billion merger deal was not identified.

Another big health care merger — the purchase of Express Scripts Holding Co. by Cigna Corp. — is also expected to get the green light, the paper reported. That $54 billion deal reportedly may go through without the need for the merging companies to sell off any assets.





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