A merger of one of the biggest drugstore operators in the U.S., CVS, with one of the country's biggest health insurers, Aetna, is likely to get a nod from U.S. antitrust regualators. Fred Katayama reports.
Drugstore operator CVS's deal to buy one of the country's biggest health insurers, Aetna, for $69 billion, could come under the close scrutiny of regulators. It's a vertical merger. The companies are not direct competitors. But the U.S. Department of Justice has been taking a closer look at similar unions. Last month, the DOJ sued to block AT&T's $85 billion bid for Time Warner. It said the integration of a content producer with a distributor could reduce consumer choice. Reuters correspondent Caroline Humer has been covering the CVS - Aetna story. (SOUNDBITE) CAROLINE HUMER, CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "You know, it's hard to know really what was behind the AT&T Time Warner decision, and whether or not they'll be looking at it the same way, will it be the same group of regulators, will be other people, who might have their own ideas about health care. But, we think, that they're going to look at the idea of this being a very large company, and how that will affect the the buyers the consumers of health care the companies that buy health care." Four antitrust experts said there is little doubt the deal will be approved. It is possible, however, that the companies might need to make adjustments to please antitrust regulators.