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US: DOJ Oks Cigna/Express Scripts $52b merger

 |  September 17, 2018

The US Justice Department’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division on Monday, September 17, gave its approval to the US$52 billion deal merging Express Scripts with Cigna.

“We are pleased that the Department of Justice has cleared our transaction and that we are another step closer to completing our merger and delivering greater affordability, choice and predictability to our customers and clients as a combined company,” Cigna CEO and President David Cordani said in a media release.

Shareholders voted to approve the merger last month, despite early opposition from activist investor Carl Icahn, who wrote an open letter urging shareholders to reject the deal.He later changed his opinion on the merger. The Justice Department antitrust division said it looked at Cigna’s current PBM services provider, OptumRx, which is owned by UnitedHealth Group. ”

The DOJ Antitrust Division stated it looked at Cigna’s current pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) services provider, OptumRx, which is owned by UnitedHealth Group. “The (DOJ antitrust) Division understands that Cigna intends to use (Express Scripts) for PBM services and that Cigna’s current PBM services provider, UnitedHealthcare’s subsidiary Optum, will be free to compete for PBM customers that purchase medical insurance from Cigna upon closing of the transaction,” The Justice Department announced in a statement Monday.

Full Content: CNBC
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