Anthem terminates Cigna merger agreement

Anthem delivered a notice to Cigna, to officially end its $54 billion proposed acquisition. The notice comes as a response to the court decision that prevented Anthem from continuing to bar Cigna from terminating the deal. Cigna had been attempting to leave since February, which is when a federal judge first blocked the deal on antitrust grounds. However, Anthem is arguing that Cigna is not entitled to the $1.85 billion contractual breakup fee because it “has failed to perform and comply in all material respects with its contractual obligations,” the company’s announcement states. Cigna still has a lawsuit against Anthem in which it is seeking not just the breakup fee, but also more than $13 billion in damages. In addition, the end of Anthem-Cigna and of Aetna-Humana have sent a message to others in the payer industry: The federal government will go after you if you want to merge with a close competitor.

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