Judge in Anthem case considers 2-phase trial

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she may review a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against Anthem's proposed $54 billion acquisition of Cigna in two phases, Reuters reports.


The first phase would address the transaction's effect on the national health insurance market. The second phase would focus on the deal's effect on local markets, with a decision possibly following the first set of arguments.


The DOJ sued to block Indianapolis-based Anthem's acquisition of Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna July 21 over antitrust concerns. The DOJ jointly sued to block Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna's $37 billion acquisition of Louisville, Ky.-based Humana.


Anthem lawyer Christopher Curran said he thought splitting the trial into two phases was "better," according to the report.


"If we're going to lose and we lose quickly, that's better for everyone," Mr. Curran said. 

The trial is slated to begin Nov. 21 and reach its conclusion by Dec. 30, Reuters reports.  

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