Judge may block $69B CVS-Aetna deal

Though regulators have signed off on the $69 billion merger between CVS Health and Aetna, a U.S. District Court judge may block the deal, The New York Post reported. The action could complicate the transaction, delaying it for months, despite the fact the two companies have already started integrating and have closed the deal.

Judge Richard Leon signaled he was considering blocking the deal over the last few weeks, stating regulators had given the merger a “rubber stamp” approval.

The next hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, and Leon could very well block the deal, the report stated.

The Department of Justice approved the deal in November on the contingency that Aetna sell its Medicare Part D prescription drug business. WellCare Health Plans agreed to purchase the business in October.

If Judge Leon decides to call an injunction next week, he could then schedule more hearings to determine if the sale of Aetna’s Part D business addresses the concerns of the government. Namely, he could call the American Medical Association as a witness, The Post predicted. The association previously voiced its concerns over the transaction’s impact on competition and the potential negative impact on patients.

“CVS Health and Aetna are one company, and we look forward to sharing with Judge Leon how we’re already helping patients and members on their path to better health,” a CVS Health spokesperson told The New York Post.