The law reshaped the US healthcare industry by mandating health insurance and creating online exchanges where consumers can shop for individual policies and get subsidies.
Anthem's (NYSE: ANTM) $48 billion deal to acquire Cigna (NYSE: CI) could be next, with a ruling expected from the DOJ any day now.
The Federal Trade Commission and nine states sued last summer to stop the merger.
Anthem and Cigna are still waiting for a judge to rule on whether their merger can proceed. "We see the new Trump Administration as focused on deregulation and driving down prices through competitive intensity in Medicare Advantage", an analyst with Leerink Partners wrote. The complaint alleged that a combined Aetna and Humana would substantially reduce competition for the sale of Medicare Advantage - a form of Medicare coverage provided by private insurers -and health insurance to individuals through the public exchanges.
But Aetna said it was "giving serious consideration to an appeal after putting forward a compelling case".
Mayhew responded by requesting to discuss by phone "instead of email".
Although Aetna is considering appealing the decision, that process could prove costlier than even that stiff breakup fee. Bates of the D.C. Circuit held that the $34 billion deal woud stifle competition and violate federal antitrust laws. "He added that it would be hard, though not impossible, for Aetna to wait for Trump's new antitrust enforcers to be named and then strike a settlement to save the merger, perhaps by offering to divest more assets", Bartz writes. Medicare Advantage plans are privately run versions of the government's Medicare program for people who are over age 65 or disabled.
"As for Aetna's claimed rationale for withdrawing from all but four states, Bates accepted that the company could credibly call it a 'business decision, ' since the overall exchange business was losing money; he just didn't buy that that was its sole reason", a Los Angeles Times columnist wrote.
Several big deals were torpedoed by antitrust regulators a year ago, including the $35 billion merger between oil-field service groups Halliburton Co and Baker Hughes Inc and the $6 billion combination of Staples Inc and Office Depot Inc. This conclusion is based on identification of the proper product market, the overwhelming market concentration figures generated by the merger, and the considerable evidence of valuable head-to-head competition between Aetna and Humana, which the merger would eliminate.
Humana is one of Louisville's largest employers.
"Today's ruling is a decisive victory for jobs, consumers, and healthcare".
"The Justice Department laid out strong proof at trial that the merger of these two health-insurance giants would have seriously harmed consumers across the country", George Slover, senior policy counsel at Consumers Union, said in a statement cited by Peltz. Sen. Medicare Advantage is supplemental insurance for Medicare recipients that covers services that Medicare doesn't.