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Aetna's Bertolini "Disappointed" In Merger Ruling; Still No Decision On Appeal

Jan 24, 2017

Aetna’s shares took a big tumble Monday after a federal judge blocked the insurer’s planned megamerger with Humana. They ended the day down almost three percent, and continued to slide Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, CEO Mark Bertolini issued a joint statement with Humana CEO Bruce Broussard.

“After putting forward a compelling case that addressed each of the Department of Justice concerns, we are disappointed with the court’s decision and will carefully consider all available options,” said the two CEOs. “We continue to believe a combined company will create access to higher-quality and more affordable care, and deliver a better overall experience for those we serve.”

Bertolini and Broussard stressed that each company will remain focused on its current operating plan while working through potential outcomes. 

A federal judge ruled Monday in favor of the U.S. Justice Department's contention that the merger would be anti-competitive. The federal government had brought the case last summer.

Aetna hasn’t spoken yet about its next moves, but says it is open to appealing the ruling. The Hartford-based insurer is due to report its quarterly earnings next Tuesday, and Bertolini is expected to speak with analysts then about the blow to the company’s strategy.