US: Judge orders hearings to revive objections to CVS-Aetna deal

A federal judge on Friday, April 5, said he wants to hear in court from witnesses who object to the Justice Department’s decision last year to approve CVS Health’s nearly US$70 billion acquisition of Aetna, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Judge Richard Leon is reviewing a DOJ settlement last fall that allowed the merger after the companies agreed to sell off assets related to Medicare drug coverage.

“This is a matter of great consequence to a lot of people,” Judge Leon said during a brief court hearing. Health care “is a high priority issue for tens of millions of families,” he added. The judge, a George W. Bush appointee, last December said he was concerned the department hadn’t adequately addressed broader potential competitive harms raised by the merger.

The judge, a George W. Bush appointee, last December said he was concerned the DOJ hadn’t adequately addressed broader potential competitive harms raised by the merger.

A federal law called the Tunney Act requires the government to have proposed merger settlements approved by a federal court, which determines whether the deal is in the public interest.

Full Content: Wall Street Journal

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