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Government warns health insurance industry on mergers

Associated Press, May 25, 2010

In a warning to the health insurance industry, the Obama administration said it won't hesitate to block mergers that threaten to stifle competition. Justice Department antitrust chief Christine Varney told a lawyers' conference that vigorous enforcement of anti-monopoly laws is vital to the success of the new healthcare law, particularly in trying to control rising premiums. The antitrust division "is committed to vigorously, but responsibly, scrutinizing mergers in the healthcare industry that appear to present a competitive concern," Varney told a joint meeting of the American Bar Association and the American Health Lawyers Association.