The fate of the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger is now in the hands of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson. The first phase of the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit ended yesterday, and Jackson must now determine whether the merger will mean higher costs for large employers in the national market where Anthem and Cigna compete, according to Bloomberg News. Anthem wants to buy Cigna for $48 billion, thereby shrinking the five biggest insurance companies in the country down to three.
The second phase of the trial that’s set to begin today would focus on how the merger would affect smaller companies, but if Jackson rules to block the merger in the first phase, then the second phase will essentially be moot.
The trial underscored the tensions between the two companies, and those tensions came to the fore yesterday as well, according to the CT Mirror. Jackson asked Rick Rule, Cigna’s attorney, why he did not sign Anthem’s summary documents. Rule responded that Cigna officials did not agree with how Anthem described some Cigna witnesses.
Rule also said that the friction between Cigna and Anthem was not consigned to the CEOs of the companies, but also extended to board members, and lower-level managers as well.
Source: Bloomberg News