CT regulator OKs CVS-Aetna deal

BY Matt Pilon

Flickr Creative Commons | Chez Julius Livre 1
Flickr Creative Commons | Chez Julius Livre 1
Aetna headquarters in Hartford
CVS Health's proposed $69 billion acquisition of Hartford-based Aetna has taken another step towards the finish line, as the Connecticut Insurance Department approved the deal.

Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade issued her decision Wednesday, following a public hearing on the deal earlier this month.

Federal antitrust approval from the Department of Justice is expected soon, following a conditional approval last week.

While some concerns were expressed during a CID public hearing from pharmacists, doctors and others, state law only allows CID to consider certain factors when weighing such a change in control, such as impact on financial stability and substantial lessening of competition.

CID's decision, like the pending DOJ decision, is contingent on Aetna divesting its standalone Medicare drug plan.

CVS recently pledged to keep Aetna headquartered in Hartford for 10 years, and to honor its pledge to donate millions of dollars to the city of Hartford.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy released a statement Wednesday afternoon praising CID's decision.

"Today's approval means that Aetna will continue to call Connecticut its home for many years to come," Malloy said. "CVS Health has an incredible record of corporate stewardship, and we welcome their leadership and commitment to keeping Hartford a center of excellence for the insurance business. The state is committed to continuing to work with CVS Health's leadership team to facilitate the growth of their presence here and support the thousands of jobs that they bring to our communities."