Yesterday evening, the federal court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of a civil antitrust lawsuit to block the proposed combination of two national health insurance companies, Anthem, Inc. and Cigna Corp.
The federal lawsuit was filed in July 2016 by the United States Department of Justice and the Attorney General for the State of New Hampshire, the District of Columbia, and ten additional states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New York, Tennessee and Virginia).
“The Court’s decision is a tremendous win for consumers, employers, healthcare providers, and other health insurers who compete in this State,” said Attorney General Joseph Foster. “New Hampshire already has too few competitors in the health insurance market.
Anthem and Cigna directly compete in important segments of the New Hampshire market, offering different approaches for fostering improved health care at lower costs. Preserving that competition is critical to our citizens, particularly in New Hampshire’s public sector where both Anthem and Cigna have established relationships with many public employers and two of the State’s municipal risk pools.”
The federal antitrust complaint alleged that a combined Anthem and Cigna would substantially lessen competition in the health insurance industry in markets across the country. Antitrust laws are designed to preserve opportunities for business innovation and to encourage companies to develop higher quality products with competitive prices. With an expedited litigation schedule, the two-phase trial ran from November 21, 2016, to January 3, 2016.
Several New Hampshire witnesses testified at the trial. Attorneys from the New Hampshire Department of Justice assisted the United States Department of Justice Attorneys with trial preparation and attended portions of the trial along with attorneys from other states. The district court issued a 12-page order publicly, and its extensive memorandum opinion is temporarily under seal to allow the parties to review for confidentiality.
Attorney General Foster extends his appreciation for the extraordinarily hard work by attorneys and staff at the United States Department of Justice, and for the partnership with the several states across the nation along with the District of Columbia.