Connecticut says will not drop opposition to Anthem/Cigna deal

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By Diane Bartz | WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON Connecticut said on Wednesday it had
no plans to drop its opposition to health insurer Anthem Inc’s proposed purchase of rival Cigna Corp, even if
the U.S. Justice Department decides to settle with the
companies.

Anthem, which lost a district court fight brought by the
Justice Department and 11 states, has kept pressing its bid to
buy Cigna by appealing a lower court injunction stopping the
deal and by reaching out to the new administration of President
Donald Trump in hopes of hammering out a settlement.

Connecticut said it was not giving up.

“The state of Connecticut, ‎which has its own antitrust
claims independent of the federal government, is not involved in
settlement talks and remains committed to its case,” Jaclyn
Falkowski, spokeswoman for state Attorney General George Jepsen,
said in an emailed statement.

The deal, valued at about $54 billion, faces seemingly
insurmountable odds but Anthem is pushing ahead. In addition to
opposition from the Justice Department and 11 states, Cigna has
said it wants out of the merger.

The American Medical Association (AMA), which represents
doctors and had opposed the planned deal, wrote to the Justice
Department this week to “express alarm” about the prospect of a
settlement.

“We find it implausible that the U.S. Department of Justice
(DOJ), eleven states, and the District of Columbia — that have
diligently and successfully prosecuted this antitrust merger
case — could now be swayed to allow this merger to close
pursuant to politically-driven settlement negotiations as Anthem
has suggested,” wrote James Madara, the AMA’s chief executive.

The letter was dated Tuesday and sent to Brent Snyder, the
acting head of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.

Anthem’s purchase of Cigna would create the largest U.S.
health insurer. Rivals Aetna Inc and Humana Inc
had also sought to merge but that deal collapsed amid opposition
from the federal government and states.

Anthem and Cigna are also suing each other. Cigna filed a
lawsuit in Delaware in February, seeking legal sanction for its
decision to end the deal and $13 billion in damages. Anthem
responded by asking a judge to forbid Cigna to terminate the
deal prematurely.



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