Lawyers for Anthem Inc. (ANTM) on Monday are planning to argue that the company's $54.2 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp. (CI)--the largest-ever merger in the healthcare industry-will bring sweeping benefits to employers and individuals who buy health insurance coverage.
Anthem is defending the merger from a challenge brought by the U.S. Department of Justice in July. The trial and final argument, which are scheduled to run through the first week of January, begin Monday, Nov. 21.
In pre-trial briefs, Anthem's legal team called the case against the merger, also joined by attorneys general from eleven states, an "extraordinary action" in which the federal and state officials are, "according to their own allegations, seeking to deprive American consumers of lower healthcare costs." Anthem noted that the DOJ's lawsuit against the merger accepts that the merger will reduce the reimbursement rates paid to healthcare providers and that those lower rates will be passed on to the overwhelming majority of large employers that provide coverage to employees through self-insured plans that require insurance companies to provide only claim processing and other administrative services.
Anthem is being represented by White & Case partners Christopher Curran, Mark Gidley, George Paul and Noah Brumfield and counsel Matthew Leddicotte.
The suit against Anthem and Cigna alleges that the merger would substantially reduce competition for millions of consumers who receive commercial health insurance coverage from national employers throughout the United States; from large-group employers in at least 35 metropolitan areas, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and Indianapolis; and from public exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act in St. Louis and Denver.