Anthem, Cigna CEOs testify in antitrust trial: 4 things to know

Morgan Haefner - Print  | 

The top executives from Anthem and Cigna testified to defend their proposed $54 billion combination from a U.S. Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Here are four things to know.

1. Cigna CEO David Cordani took the stand for the first time since the trial began Nov. 21 in Washington, D.C. Mr. Cordani spoke about what the companies' possible integration would look like, saying joining the two organizations would be complicated and the deal is complex.

2. DOJ attorneys questioned Mr. Cordani about Cigna's innovation efforts, to which the CEO said the Bloomfield, Conn.-based insurer operates under a value-based model instead of a fee-for-service model. While the DOJ argues Indianapolis-based Anthem's acquisition of Cigna would hinder this innovation, Anthem said Cigna's innovation is why it is looking to purchase the company. Under Anthem lawyer questioning, Mr. Cordani said Cigna looks to spread its innovation efforts to more customers, which he said would benefit physicians and hospitals and "was the objective on day one," according to the report.  

3. When lawyers questioned Mr. Cordani and Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish about the relationship between the two companies — as each accused the other in September of breaching their agreement — the executives asked the courtroom be closed due to the confidential material they planned to discuss. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson allowed the courtroom to be closed for several hours, during which Mr. Swedish gave most of his Tuesday testimony. The CEO also took the witness stand Nov. 21 to defend the deal.  

4. Seven news organizations reporting on the trial, including The Wall Street Journal, sent a letter to Judge Jackson questioning the decision to keep the information from public view. When the courtroom reopened, Judge Jackson addressed the letter and said while she preferred open proceedings, some business information and details about third parties needed to be guarded in the trial. The judge asked Anthem and Cigna to file decisions about whether to release court transcripts from the closed session by Monday.  

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