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DOJ seeks formal approval of CVS-Aetna merger

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Judge may hold hearing about deal concerns.

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has been formally asked by the  Justice Department to approve CVS Health’s acquisition of Aetna Inc.

District Court Judge Richard Leon had rebuked the government and the companies late last year for closing the $69 billion dollar deal prior to approval of a consent order. In response, CVS offered to keep certain aspects of Aetna’s operations separate for now. Saying that halting all integration would cause irreparable harm to the company and its customers, CVS  noted that Aetna would maintain its historical control over pricing of products and services for its insurance customers, and that the two companies wouldn’t exchange competitively sensitive information for the time being.

With the government’s request for a final okay for the acquisition, Leon may approve the merger without further demands or may choose to hold a hearing on lingering concerns.

The Justice Department authorized the merger in October on condition that Aetna divest its Medicare prescription drug plan business to WellCare Health Plans Inc.


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