Dechert Secures Antitrust Approval for CVS Health/Aetna, the Largest Healthcare Services Merger in History

November 29, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Dechert has helped steer one of the most significant mergers in history to a successful close. Led by partners Mike Cowie and Rani Habash, and counsel Gregory Luib, the Dechert team acted for CVS Health as antitrust counsel in its US$70 billion acquisition of Aetna.

This is the largest healthcare services transaction in history, the largest announced deal of 2017, and the second largest deal to close in 2018. The antitrust implications were analyzed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Congress, state attorneys general, state departments of insurance, and many private groups.

Dechert developed advocacy, based on extensive qualitative and empirical evidence, showing that the vertical merger concerns leading the DOJ to challenge AT&T/Time Warner were not present here.

This led the DOJ to conclude that “the merger is unlikely to cause CVS to increase costs to Aetna’s health insurance rivals,” and that the merger may “generate benefits by improving the quality and lowering the costs of the healthcare services that American consumers can obtain.”

“The DOJ’s approval statement confirms that the merger should benefit consumers in a rapidly-changing, highly-competitive marketplace,” said Mike Cowie. “It is an honor for Dechert to help CVS Health convey the compelling pro-competitive advantages of the merger and to reach this achievement.”

About Dechert

Dechert is a leading global law firm with 27 offices around the world. We advise on matters and transactions of the greatest complexity, bringing energy, creativity and efficient management of legal issues to deliver commercial and practical advice for clients.