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  • 07.21.16

The DOJ is suing Anthem and Aetna to block mergers with Cigna and Humana

The U.S. government is going after two of the biggest health insurers. Last year, Anthem announced plans to acquire Cigna for $54 billion, while Aetna made a similar deal to buy Humana for $37 billion. Now the Department of Justice is looking to stop the acquisitions from happening, over concerns that they could hamper competition in the industry, reports CNBC.

The suit claims the deals would completely reshape the health care industry by “eliminating two innovative competitors—Cigna and Humana—at a time when the industry is experimenting with new ways to lower health care costs.”

Cigna said in a statement to CNBC that it is evaluating its options. The company added: “In light of the DOJ’s decision, we do not believe the transaction will close in 2016 and the earliest it could close is 2017, if at all.” Aetna and Humana, for their part, said they would “vigorously defend” the deal.CGW