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US District Judge Blocks Aetna-Humana Merger.
The New York Times (1/23, Picker, Abelson, Subscription Publication) reports Judge John D. Bates of the US District Court for the District of Columbia has blocked the proposed $37 billion merger of insurers Aetna and Humana. Judge Bates said in his ruling that he “mostly agrees” with the argument made by the US Department of Justice that the merger would lessen competition in the health insurance market.
In a front-page story, the Wall Street Journal (1/23, A1, Kendall, Mathews, Subscription Publication) reports Judge Bates said the merger would specifically harm competition in the markets for Medicare Advantage plans as well as individual plans sold on exchanges.
The Washington Post (1/23, Johnson) reports the companies’ merger agreement is currently scheduled to expire on February 15, but has already been extended twice.