February 2, 2018

Trump regulators request more information on CVS-Aetna deal

PHOTO | HBJ File
PHOTO | HBJ File
Aetna's Hartford headquarters.

The U.S. Department of Justice has asked Aetna and CVS Health Corp. for more information on their proposed combination, extending by 30 days a federal antitrust act waiting period that was set to expire on Thursday.

The details of the DOJ inquiry are not available, but in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing posted Thursday, the SEC said its request extends the deadline for signing off on the deal under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976. The extension is either for 30 days past Feb. 1, or a later time that the DOJ and the parties may negotiate. The DOJ also could act earlier, the filing states.

"CVS Health and Aetna have been cooperating with the DOJ staff since shortly after the announcement of the merger agreement and are continuing to cooperate with the DOJ staff in its review of the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement," the DOJ filing states.

The massive drugstore chain's proposed $69 billion acquisition of the nation's largest health insurer would drastically remap the healthcare industry.

CVS Health and Aetna have both scheduled shareholder meetings for March 20 seeking approvals for the deal, which CVS expects to close in the second half of 2018.

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