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AP file photo

Cigna is suing Anthem to halt its merger, and it's demanding Anthem pay the $1.85 billion termination fee as well as $13 billion in damages that include "the amount of premium that Cigna shareholders did not realize as a result of the failed merger process."

A federal judge ruled last week that the Anthem-Cigna transaction was anticompetitive, particularly for people who get their health insurance through big national employers, and Anthem had intended to file an appeal. Now, Anthem will have to fight its own merger partner in court. Anthem said Cigna does "not have a right" to kill the deal.

This break-up is a lot less amicable than the deal between Aetna and Humana. Those two insurers mutually terminated their merger earlier today.

Why this matters: Anthem and Cigna have disliked each other from the start, when Cigna CEO David Cordani demanded he become the top executive of the combined company but got no such assurances. The legal teams on both sides also had multiple quibbles. It's only going to get messier and add more legal costs to the growing tab associated with the health insurance mega-mergers. And it's all coming at a time when Congress is trying to dismantle Obamacare, which would disrupt both companies.

Go deeper

45 mins ago - World

Netanyahu campaigns against Biden's plan to save Iran deal

Netanyahu campaigns at a gym last month. Photo: Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly criticized the Biden administration for its intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal and told his supporters he was prepared to "stand against the entire world" to stop it.

Why it matters: This is a major change of tune for Netanyahu, who had been careful in his statements on the Iran deal and avoided publicly criticizing President Biden. The statement was part of Netanyahu's attempt to rally his base ahead of Israel's election on March 23.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Tech: "Fludemic" model accurately maps COVID hotspotsVirtual doctor's visits and digital health tools take off.
  2. Politics: Schumer says Senate will stay through weekend to vote on COVID relief — Republican governor of West Virginia says there's no plan to lift mask mandate.
  3. World: Canada vaccine panel recommends 4 months between doses.
  4. Business: Firms develop new ways to inoculate the public.
  5. Local: Ultra-rich Florida community got vaccinations in January.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Why fears of a SPAC bubble may be overblown

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The SPAC surge continues unabated, with 10 new ones formed since Wednesday morning. And that's OK.

Between the lines: There are growing concerns that retail investors are about to get rolled, with smart sponsors taking advantage of dumb money.