DOJ approves $69B CVS-Aetna merger as healthcare industry restructures

Signage stands outside a CVS Health Corp. store in Rock Island, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018.

Enlarge / CVS, now an even more towering figure in the healthcare world. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

The Department of Justice on Wednesday approved a $69 billion merger between prescription-drug behemoth CVS and insurance giant Aetna, with some strings attached.

The massive merger is just the latest grand-scale restructuring of the health care industry, which is under pressure to rein in unwieldy costs while facing competitive threats from tech giants, such as Amazon, joining the fray.

CVS, which racked up about $185 billion in revenue last year, runs the country’s largest retail-pharmacy chain and provides prescription plans to more than 94 million customers. By joining forces with Aetna—the nation’s third-largest health-insurance provider with over 22 million medical members, earning $60 billion in revenue in 2017—CVS will have a tight grasp on the market. The combined enterprise aims to be a first-line health care hub with clinics in its ubiquitous brick-and-mortar stores.

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