New details on Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan health venture emerge: 5 things to know

New clues about the healthcare venture launched by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase emerged in court filings and testimony related to a lawsuit filed by UnitedHealth seeking to protect its trade secrets from the new venture, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Five things to know:

1. The federal lawsuit filed Jan. 16 aims to stop former Optum executive David Smith from divulging confidential information he allegedly obtained before being hired by the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan venture in December 2018. Optum is UnitedHealth Group's health services unit.

2. Court filings indicate the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan venture is examining ways to combine third-party vendors' products to boost value for the three companies. In court, Mr. Smith said "it could be the great solutions are already out there and it's about pulling out the right ones together," according to the report.

3. In an affidavit filed to support Mr. Smith, Jack Stoddard, the joint venture's chief operating officer, said the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan venture is "currently using data, analytics, and expertise to combine products from third-party vendors." He said the joint venture "may consider building new solutions" or have vendors create them.

4. Mr. Smith said he didn't have any company files when he left Optum to join the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan venture. He said the new venture isn't competing with Optum, and he would have no use for Optum files in his new role, according to the report.

5. In response to questioning by U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf, Mr. Smith said scaling up innovative ideas and selling them to the broader market is "not the near-term goal," for the Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan venture.

Access the full Wall Street Journal article here.

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