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Justice Department approves $69B CVS/Aetna deal

October 25, 2018

The Department of Justice on Wednesday granted conditional approval of CVS Health’s $69 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna, the department announced.

The deal hinges on completion of Aetna’s agreement to sell its Medicare Part D drug plan business to WellCare Health Plans. Antitrust regulators worried the two companies Medicare Part D plans, which combine to serve 6.8 million people. If combined, the plans could reduce consumer choice and increase costs, the Justice Department said.

“The divestitures required here allow for the creation of an integrated pharmacy and health benefits company that has the potential to generate benefits by improving the quality and lowering the costs of the healthcare services that American consumers can obtain,” said Assistant Attorney General Mark Delrahim of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division.

CVS announced in December it would buy Aetna in a deal that combines the nation’s largest retail pharmacy chain with its third-largest health insurance company.

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