Guidelines Offer Little Clarity on Future of Vertical Deals

On June 30, the Trump administration released the first major update to regulators’ guidance on vertical mergers and acquisitions since 1984. The document from the Federal Trade Commission and Dept. of Justice (DOJ) has already drawn controversy, as two FTC officials issued dissenting statements arguing the guidelines aren’t critical enough of deals that consolidate multiple parts of a supply chain.

However, health care and legal experts aren’t convinced that the new guidelines will provide much more assistance to firms hoping to execute vertical transactions akin to insurer Cigna Corp. buying PBM Express Scripts, pharmacy giant CVS Health Corp. buying insurer Aetna, or UnitedHealth Group — which already owns an insurer and a PBM — purchasing a bevy of care-delivery assets.

© 2021 MMIT

Leslie Small

Leslie has been reporting and editing in various journalism roles for nearly a decade. Most recently, she was the senior editor of FierceHealthPayer, an e-newsletter covering the health insurance industry. A graduate of Penn State University, she previously served in editing roles at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado.

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