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A Federal Judge Is Expected to Block the Anthem-Cigna Merger – Fortune

Health Insurance Provider Anthem Blue Cross To Hike Rates

The Anthem Blue Cross headquarters is seen after the health insurer began informing its individual policyholders of rate hikes up to 39% to take effect at the beginning of March, on Feb. 9, 2010 in Woodland Hills, California.  David McNew/ Getty Images

A federal judge is expected to block a proposed deal between health insurer Anthem and Cigna as soon as Thursday, the New York Post reported, citing sources.

Anthem, which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance plans in 14 U.S. states, is trying to buy smaller rival Cigna. The government sued seven months ago to stop the deal, saying it was anti-competitive.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has not yet issued an opinion on the case. The trial began late last year, and Cigna said it ended on Jan. 4.

Anthem is preparing for an appeal of any ruling that doesn’t go its way and insiders expect Jackson to rule against the deal, the Post reported.

Anthem said earlier on Thursday it extended the deadline for its acquisition of Cigna by three months.

Anthem and Cigna could not be immediately reached for comment.

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