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US: Shareholders approve $37 billion merger between Aetna, Humana

 |  October 20, 2015

Aetna and Humana shareholders on Monday voted to approve a merger between the two companies, Modern Healthcare reports.

Aetna in a in a statement said 99% of its voting shares approved the merger, while in a separate statement said 99% its voting shares also approved the deal.

In July, Aetna announced it reached a $37 billion deal to purchase Humana, which could make Aetna the nation’s second-largest insurer. A Kaiser Family Foundation report determined, “If the deal between Aetna and Humana proceeds, the consolidated firm would provide coverage to more than one-quarter — 26% — of all Medicare Advantage enrollees nationwide, making it the leading Medicare Advantage insurer.”

Federal regulators must approve the proposal, and antitrust experts say the Department of Justice and state attorneys general are likely to scrutinize it closely. DOJ is reviewing the deal to determine whether it would “substantially … lessen competition” and thus violate the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914.

In addition, the deal must meet certain closing conditions. The two insurers expect the deal to be completed by the second half of 2016.

Full content: Modern Healthcare

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