Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) is taking its fight to salvage a proposed $54 billion merger to the Supreme Court. The insurer is seeking a review of a U.S. Court of Appeals decision that agreed with a lower court that the planned acquisition of Connecticut-based Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) would shrink competition in the market.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decision agreed with a U.S. Department of Justice suit that also called the deal into question over reasons related to market competition.
In a statement, Anthem says:
Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) confirmed that today it is filing a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court, seeking review of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s majority decision that would limit access to high quality affordable care for millions of Americans and deny them more than $2 billion in medical cost savings annually. As Judge Kavanaugh concluded in his dissent, “the record evidence decisively demonstrates that this merger would be beneficial to the employer-customers who obtain insurance services from Anthem and Cigna.” Citing the circuit split over the consideration of efficiencies in merger analysis, Anthem urges that 1960s-era merger precedents relied upon by the courts below must be updated to reflect the modern understanding of economics and consumer benefit.
On Friday, Cigna reported a profit of $598 million, compared to $519 million during the same quarter the previous year. It made little direct mention of the pending legal battle with Anthem, but did cite the Court of Appeals and U.S. District Court rulings among a list of items providing uncertainty.
Late last month, Anthem expressed its disappointment with the Appeals Court decision, saying the proposed merger offers "demonstrated efficiencies," which make it a "pro-competitive, consumer friendly transaction." It reaffirmed its commitment to completing the deal.