1 UnitedHealth acquisition nears green light as another is scrutinized

As UnitedHealth Group nears clearance from regulatory scrutiny in one acquisition, it is experiencing more of it in another. 

The U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority gave UnitedHealth a provisional OK to acquire health technology firm EMIS Group following an in-depth investigation.    

Bordeaux UK Holdings II — a unit of UnitedHealth's Optum business — agreed to acquire the U.K.-based EMIS Group in January 2022 in a $1.51 billion deal. The deal was scrutinized over concerns it could result in a "substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom." Now, in an Aug. 11 filing, the Competition and Markets Authority said the deal "may not be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition in relation to the supply of medicines optimisation or population health services in the United Kingdom." 

One day earlier, Amedisys revealed in a regulatory filing that the Justice Department is seeking more information about Optum's proposed $3.29 billion acquisition of the home health provider.   

"There can be no assurance that the merger will not be challenged on antitrust grounds or, if such a challenge is made, that the challenge will not be successful," Amedisys wrote the filing. 

The request is not an unexpected move from the federal government, as previous UnitedHealth Group purchases have been subject to similar requests. In 2022, the Justice Department unsuccessfully attempted to block UnitedHealth from acquiring data and analytics company Change Healthcare for $7.8 billion.

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