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CVS and Aetna Face Honeymoon Stress

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CVS Health Corp. and Aetna Inc. got hitched Wednesday. Now they are having trouble combining their households.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon continued Monday to raise concerns about the companies’ failure to get final approval from him for an antitrust settlement before they merged. Leon issued a warning about the matter last week.

(Related: CVS, Aetna Closed Their Deal. A Judge Is Not Happy)

At a hearing yesterday, Leon set a hearing on the matter for Dec. 18.

Leon said he may issue ruling that could keep the companies from integrating their assets while the proposed antitrust settlement is under review, according to Bloomberg.

“CVS Health and Aetna are one company, and our focus is on transforming the consumer health experience,” CVS told Bloomberg in a statement.

The U.S. Justice Department approved the CVS-Aetna settlement agreement proposal in October. The department is asking the court to let the companies move forward with efforts to combine their operations.

Antitrust settlement reviews can take months. In the past, many companies involved in similar mergers have been able to start integrating their operations while the antitrust settlement reviews were still in progress.


Aetna has been able to move ahead with one deal-related matter: completing the sale of its stand-alone Medicare Part D drug plans to a unit of WellCare Health Plans Inc.

Aetna announced today that it closed on the plan sale Friday.

The plans have about 2.2 million drug plan enrollees.

Federal antitrust regulators had suggested that acquiring Aetna’s Part D drug plans could give CVS too much clout in the Medicare drug plan market.

Aetna agreed to sell the plans to WellCare to resolve those concerns.

— Read Justice Department Blesses CVS-Aetna Dealon ThinkAdvisor.

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