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Anthem to Appeal Decision that Blocks Merger with Cigna

News  |  By Gregory A. Freeman  
   February 10, 2017

Anthem CEO Joseph R. Swedish said he was "significantly disappointed" with the federal judge's decision and claimed the merger would save consumers more than $2 billion in medical costs annually.

Almost immediately after the court ruling that shut down its plans to merge with Cigna in a $54 billion deal, Anthem announced Thursday that it will appeal the decision.

On Wednesday Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the D.C. District Court agreed with antitrust regulators that the merger would create an insurance giant that would unfairly control much of employer-provided health coverage in the country.

Next fight for Anthem and Cigna: The breakup fee

"The company promptly intends to file a notice of appeal and request an expedited hearing of its appeal to reverse the Court's decision so that Anthem may move forward with the merger, which was approved by over 99% of the votes cast by the shareholders of both companies," the company said in a statement.

Joseph R. Swedish, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Anthem, said he was "significantly disappointed" and claimed the merger would save consumers more than $2 billion in medical costs annually.

"If not overturned, the consequences of the decision are far-reaching and will hurt American consumers by limiting their access to high quality affordable care, slowing the industry's shift to value-based care and improved outcomes for patients, and restricting innovation which is critical to meeting the evolving needs of healthcare consumers," Swedish said.

"Moving forward, Anthem will continue to work aggressively to complete the transaction while remaining focused on serving as America's valued health partner, delivering superior health care services to our approximately 40 million members with greater value at less cost."

In the parallel case argued on the same grounds, a federal judge last month blocked the proposed $37 billion merger of Aetna and Humana. It is not known if that decision will be appealed.

Gregory A. Freeman is a contributing writer for HealthLeaders.

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