US: Judge kills Anthem/Cigna merger

On Thursday Judge Travis Laster of Delaware’s Court of Chancery denied Anthem’s request for a preliminary injunction but stayed implementation of his ruling until noon on Monday to give the insurer time to decide if it will pursue an appeal to the Delaware Supreme Court.

“I recognize that this ruling will permit Cigna to terminate the merger and effectively end Anthem’s path to closing,” he said in the hearing.

The US Justice Department and 11 states sued last year to stop the $54 billion merger, which would have resulted in the largest US health insurer, and the DOJ won in both district court and an appeals court.

Anthem asked the US Supreme Court to hear the federal antitrust case and requested the preliminary injunction in order to hold the proposed deal together long enough for the high court to decide if it would take it.

Excluding the possibility of a successful appeal at the Delaware Supreme Court, the two sides will likely continue to fight over a $1.85 billion break-up fee and damages for failing to close the deal.

Full Content: Reuters

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