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New York AG Joins DOJ In Wanting To Block UnitedHealth’s Tie-up

 |  February 24, 2022

New York Attorney General Letitia James also filed an antitrust lawsuit with the US Department of Justice and the State of Minnesota to stop the proposed acquisition of Change Healthcare by UnitedHealth Group.

The lawsuit alleges that the acquisition would give United, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, an unparalleled competitive advantage, allowing it to use Change’s enormous repository of claims data to raise costs for its competitors, hobble their ability to compete with United, and deny them access to innovations. The acquisition would reduce competition among health insurers, likely leading to increased healthcare costs and decreased quality of services for New Yorkers. 

Related: DOJ Sues To Block UnitedHealth’s Bid For Change Healthcare

“It’s concerning that amidst a devastating pandemic United is pursuing actions that would drive up healthcare costs and reduce the quality of services for New Yorkers and patients nationwide,” said Attorney General James. “New Yorkers need affordable healthcare, not health insurance companies primarily concerned with market dominance. We are suing United to stop its attempted acquisition of Change to ensure that New Yorkers benefit from competitive healthcare markets. I will continue to fight to ensure New Yorkers have access to affordable, quality healthcare.”

According to the lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, United’s proposed acquisition of Change would allow United to use its competitively sensitive data to co-opt rival insurers’ innovations and preempt their competitive strategies, reducing their incentives to pursue those innovations and strategies in the first place. It would also allow United to use its control over Change’s technologies to disadvantage other health insurers by raising their costs, degrading the quality of their services, and denying or delaying their access to innovations and quality improvements. Ultimately, this substantial lessening of competition would result in higher cost, lower quality, and less innovative commercial health insurance for employers, employees, and their families. 

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