Humana, Aetna kill merger deal

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The complaint seeks payment by Anthem of the $1.85 billion reverse termination fee contemplated in the merger agreement, as well as additional damages in an amount exceeding $13 billion.

Aetna spokesman TJ Crawford said the insurer was reviewing the decision "and giving serious consideration to an appeal after putting forward a compelling case".

Pedestrians walk passed signage at Cigna Corp. headquarters in Bloomfield, Connecticut, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016.

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Cigna, disappointed in the outcome of the process, said it now believes that the transaction "cannot and will not" achieve regulatory approval and that terminating the deal is in the best interest of shareholders.

An Anthem spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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Health Insurance providers Aetna and Humana announced Tuesday morning that they would not seek an appeal on the US federal court's decision to block their $34 billion merger. Analysts said the companies could initiate share buybacks to push up their share price or attempt other acquisitions, with both Anthem and Cigna possibly pursuing Humana.

The two mergers were first proposed in 2015 and could have reshaped the health insurance landscape in the United States by consolidating the four of the largest insurers into two companies.

Anthem said it had extended the proposal through April 30 after the deal was blocked. However, in 2016, the U.S. Justice Department sued to deter the deal and won in separate lawsuits. At the same time, Cigna seemed hesitant to commit to fighting for the merger. "Anthem will continue to enforce its rights under the Merger Agreement and remains committed to closing the transaction". Blue Cross-Blue Shield carrier Anthem is attempting to buy Cigna for $48 billion.

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The split became inevitable on January 23, when a federal judge in Washington, D.C., blocked Aetna's $37 billion purchase of its rival on antitrust grounds.