President Obama has been out of office 20 days but his antitrust cops are still knocking down mergers. A federal judge on Wednesday ruled the $54 billion between health insurance rivals Anthem and Cigna cannot proceed because it would improperly further reduce competition and lead to higher prices for consumers. Obama’s Department of Justice had sued to block the deal that would have created the largest health insurer by membership.
It marks the second in the sector that Obama’s Justice Department has KO’d. Last month, a second judge . Anthem will have a hard time appealing the decision because its partner Cigna will likely seek termination in order to collect the $1.
85 billion fee, sources said. The Post that Judge Amy Berman Jackson was poised to block the Anthem deal. The merging parties are not on the same page, which appeared to be apparent in court.
Jackson, in her ruling late Wednesday, said, “The big elephant in the courtroom” is “one of the two merging parties [Cigna] is also actively warning against [the merger]. ”.