Future of UnitedHealth-Change deal uncertain as timing deadline nears

The Justice Department again is considering a lawsuit to block UnitedHealth Group's acquisition of Change Healthcare, according to a Dealreporter article published Feb. 15. Change Healthcare's shares fell on the report, according to Seeking Alpha.

The two companies reportedly are preparing for a "last rites" meeting with the Justice Department, as its timing agreement is set to expire on Feb. 22, according to Dealreporter and Seeking Alpha. The two organizations agreed to hold off on closing the deal until that date.

In January 2021, UnitedHealth subsidiary Optum announced its intent to purchase data analytics firm Change Healthcare. The deal has faced several hurdles, including opposition from the American Hospital Association and a Justice Department investigation.

Change had reportedly been working with advisers to discuss a possible sale of assets to help close the deal and avert an antitrust challenge. According to Bloomberg Law, which cited Dealreporter, the Justice Department hasn't found any divestitures that would be acceptable to alleviate antitrust concern.

There were also reports in August 2021 that said the Justice Department was considering a lawsuit to block the deal.

Change Healthcare didn't respond to Becker's request for comment by the time of publication. 

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