Aetna and Humana have decided to end their merger agreement rather than appeal a judge’s decision to block the deal on antitrust grounds. “While we continue to believe that a combined company would create greater value for healthcare consumers through improved affordability and quality, the current environment makes it too challenging to continue pursuing the transaction,” Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said in a statement. In accordance with their contract, Aetna will pay Humana a $1 billion breakup fee. Aetna will also pay the fees associated with terminating its deal to sell some of its Medicare Advantage assets to Molina Healthcare, an arrangement the insurer had hoped would lessen concerns about the Aetna-Humana merger’s effect on market competition. In the case of the Aetna-Humana deal, a federal judge ruled that the merger would unlawfully lessen competition in the Medicare Advantage and individual exchange markets.