DOJ to appeal ruling that cleared UnitedHealth-Change merger

The Justice Department plans to appeal a September court ruling that cleared the path for UnitedHealth Group to move forward with its $7.8 billion acquisition of Change Healthcare, Bloomberg reported Nov. 18.

 

The Justice Department filed suit in February to halt the deal, calling it anticompetitive because Change Healthcare, which would be merged with UnitedHealth Group's data and consulting business Optum Insights, has access to data from insurer customers. 

UnitedHealth Group argued Optum is separate from its insurance arm, UnitedHealthcare, and the deal should go through because there are policies in place to protect sensitive data. U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols agreed and ruled in favor of the merger Sept. 19, rejecting the Justice Department's lawsuit. 

The merger was completed in October.

Bloomberg identified the plans for appeal through a filing on the case docket. UnitedHealth believes "the appeal is without merit," a spokesperson told Bloomberg.

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