Loss in UnitedHealth/Change Trial May Not Lower DOJ’s Deal-Blocking Appetite
Recently, UnitedHealth Group and Change Healthcare Inc. received welcome news when a federal judge ruled that their $13 billion deal could proceed despite the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s contention that it would illegally stifle competition. While it isn’t yet clear whether the DOJ will appeal the ruling, experts say the case itself offers important lessons for the health care industry and other firms mulling similar transactions.
“It was enlightening when looking at information concerns that increasingly will be the subject of antitrust challenges,” antitrust attorney David Balto tells AIS Health, a division of MMIT. “But the first time you step in the water with a somewhat novel theory, it’s going to be hard. So I think they established some good groundwork for future antitrust challenges.”