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Judge Says Yes To $13B UnitedHealth-Change Healthcare Merger: Report

  • A U.S. judge on Monday denied the Justice Department's request to stop UnitedHealth Group Inc's (NYSE: UNH) $13 billion buyout deal for Change Healthcare Inc (NASDAQ: CHNG).

  • The Justice Department had filed a lawsuit in February aimed at stopping the acquisition on antitrust grounds.

  • The deal was announced in January 2021 at $25.75 per share in cash and was expected to close in the second half of 2021.

  • The judge rejected the claims that the deal would unlawfully suppress competition and limit innovation in health-insurance markets.

  • In April, UnitedHealth announced its plans to sell Change Healthcare's claims payment and editing business to private equity firm TPG Capital for $2.2 billion, according to an SEC filing, to ease antitrust concerns. The Justice Department considered the offer insufficient.

  • Judge Carl Nichols said he would deny the government's request to stop the deal and ordered the companies to go forward with an asset sale they had proposed.

  • Wall Street Journal writes that the court ruling represents an early blow to stepped-up antitrust enforcement by the Biden administration.

  • The Justice Department's top antitrust official, Jonathan Kanter, said the department disagreed with the decision and considered its next steps.

  • Price Action: UNH shares closed at $523.55 on Monday. CHNG stock is up 7.38% at $27.35 during the premarket session on the last check Tuesday.

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