Appeals court upholds decision to block Anthem bid for Cigna

April 28, 2017 - 10:28 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has left in place a decision blocking Anthem Inc.'s bid to buy rival health insurer Cigna Corp.

The 2-1 decision Friday upholds a federal judge's ruling in February that said the proposed $48 billion acquisition would reduce competition in the concentrated insurance market.

Anthem argued the merger would save $2.4 billion in medical costs and lead to lower consumer premiums. But the Justice Department said Anthem had no real plan to reach those savings. The government sued last summer to block the deal amid concerns over its effect on prices and consumer choices.

Cigna has filed a separate lawsuit seeking a $1.85 billion termination fee from Anthem and billions more in damages that include the amount Cigna shareholders would have received if the merger hadn't failed.

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