Aetna says DOJ asked for more information about Coventry buy

Fri Nov 9, 2012 8:31am EST

Nov 9 (Reuters) - Aetna Inc, which in August agreed to buy smaller Coventry Health Care Inc for $5.6 billion, said on Friday that antitrust regulators have asked the companies for more information related to their review of the deal.

Aetna said that the companies are still planning to close the deal in the middle of 2013. This is the U.S. Department of Justice's second request for information.

Antitrust regulators review deals like this to make sure that there would still be sufficient competition after completion.

Aetna, which provides health care insurance for large corporations and also offers government-backed insurance for older people nationwide, is seeking to buy Coventry to give it more access to Medicare and Medicaid, the government program for the poor.

As the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act rolls into place, millions more people are expected to be covered by government-paid insurance, particularly Medicaid.

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