A federal judge raised the prospect of not approving CVS Health’s deal to buy insurer Aetna, which closed earlier this week, during a routine portion of the legal process.
Judge Richard Leon of the US District Court for the District of Columbia objected to what he said was the government’s and companies’ treatment of him as a “rubber stamp” for the deal, noting that CVS had closed its deal to buy Aetna for US$69 billion on Wednesday, November 28.
The judge, in a brief hearing Monday, said he’s considering requiring that the merged firm hold the CVS and Aetna assets separate until he has more time to consider the settlement. If he does so, it could cause considerable disruptions for the newly merged firm, as CVS began integrating Aetna’s assets immediately after the deal closed last week.
Aetna said in a statement, “It’s commonplace for acquisitions to close before this final step in the process is complete, and our focus remains on delivering on the combined company’s potential.” CVS did not return a request for comment.
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