The judge overseeing both the Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana merger lawsuits has handed off one case to another judge, improving the chance both suits are decided by the end of the year, reports Indianapolis Business Journal.
U.S. District Judge John Bates decided to keep the Department of Justice's case challenging Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna's acquisition of Louisville, Ky.-based Humana on grounds the case has a tighter deadline. The insurers' merger agreement expires at the end of the year.
U.S. District Judge Amy Jackson will take over the DOJ's suit against Indianapolis-based Anthem and Bloomfield, Conn.-based Cigna. Anthem has the right to extend its agreement with Cigna until April 30.
Earlier this month, Anthem requested its case be tried separately from the suit against Aetna and Humana, in hopes of speeding up the trial before its merger could fall apart.