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Aetna Gets December Trial Date to Make Case for Humana Deal

  • Judge sets Dec. 5 start, rejecting U.S. request for January
  • U.S. sued to block $37 billion combination as anticompetitive
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Health insurers Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. will go to trial against the U.S. on Dec. 5 in defense of their planned $37 billion merger, pushing a judge’s decision on the tie-up beyond their deadline for completing the deal by year-end.

The decision on the trial’s timing came Wednesday after the Justice Department tried to persuade U.S. District Judge John D. Bates in Washington to delay the start until January, after the companies’ self-imposed Dec. 31 merger deadline. The judge said at a hearing that he expected a ruling around mid-January.