In The Press July 28, 2022

UnitedHealth’s Expansion Strategy Is Threatened by U.S. Regulators (Bloomberg Law)

UnitedHealth Group Inc. has relied on a string of acquisitions, with hardly a peep from regulators in the past. But now the US Department of Justice is seeking to block the $7.8 billion Change deal, arguing it would harm competition. It’s the first major challenge to a health-care merger to go to trial during the Biden administration. The US is taking the case to trial even after the companies agreed to divest some overlapping businesses. It’s a sign of greater scrutiny under President Joe Biden’s more assertive antitrust agenda. “They’re looking into those deals that previously never got a look,” says Andrew Lacy, an Antitrust & Competition partner at Goodwin not involved in the case. Competition regulators are also looking beyond consumer harm—long the core concern of antitrust enforcement—to ask how combinations affect labor markets or data and privacy issues. “Agencies are kicking the tires on potential new theories,” Lacy says. Read the Bloomberg Law article here