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CVS to Buy Aetna

  • CVS Likely Wants FTC Antitrust Review, Not Justice Department, of Aetna Deal Reuters by Diane Bartz — It is uncertain who in the U.S. government will carry out an antitrust review of CVS Health Corp.'s deal to buy health insurer Aetna Inc, but the drugstore company is likely hoping the potentially more lenient Federal Trade Commission gets the nod, antitrust experts say. The Justice Department's Antitrust Division and Federal Trade Commission share the job of reviewing mergers to make sure they don't hurt consumers, but sometimes it comes down to a coin toss as to who reviews a deal that involves both agencies' areas of expertise.  The Justice Department might be best-placed since it recently reviewed, and stopped, two insurance industry tie-ups, including Aetna's plan to buy rival Humana Inc.

  • Wall Street Is Wary of an Untested Strategy in CVS-Aetna Megamerger Bloomberg by Zachary Tracer — The success of CVS Health Corp.'s $67.5 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna Inc. rides on a bet on a complex and untested strategy, and some in Wall Street are questioning whether the companies can pull it off. CVS plans to build mini health centers in some of its 9,700 stores, turning them into key locations where Aetna members — and customers of rival insurers — get low-level care for ailments and chronic diseases. Already, CVS has 1,100 MinuteClinics in its pharmacies, and is testing out hearing and vision offerings in a handful of locations. "The strategy seems logical, but we believe there will be considerable execution risk for the combined companies," Steve Halper of Cantor Fitzgerald said in a Dec. 4 research note. "Given the prolonged regulatory process, we do not expect any changes (if any) in the competitive landscape until the 2020 coverage plan year."

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