WASHINGTON (Reuters)—Pharmacy chain CVS Health Corp won U.S. antitrust approval for its $69 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna Inc, the Justice Department said on Wednesday, paving the way for a combination the companies say can help cut soaring U.S. healthcare costs.
It is the second large recent healthcare deal to win a thumbs up from the U.S. Justice Department. The agency gave the green light to health insurer Cigna Corp’s $52 billion acquisition of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), Express Scripts Holding Co, on Sept. 17.
Shares of CVS and Aetna each rose about 1 percent on Wednesday, a day when the broader market was sharply lower, with CVS trading at $80.25 and Aetna at $206.00.
The deal was approved on condition that the companies sell Aetna’s Medicare Part D prescription drug business, the Justice department said.