Mar 28, 2018

The antitrust case against new insurance mergers

The CVS-Aetna merger is under fire from an antitrust watchdog. Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

CVS and Aetna executives have argued their potential merger will open up a more efficient “front door” into the health care system. But the American Antitrust Institute believes the merger “will potentially harm competition and consumers." Along with the merger of Cigna and Express Scripts, the deal “would trigger a fundamental restructuring of the U.S. health care system," the nonpartisan think tank said in a 10-page letter to the Department of Justice.

Its main points: CVS-Aetna and Cigna-Express Scripts would combine companies that hold dominant positions in health insurance, PBMs and retail pharmacy — and it could create incentives to exclude rivals. And the PBMs could act as “conduits” for gathering sensitive information about health insurer rivals, which could lead to “price fixing” or “collusion," AAI said. 

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Kenan Thompson and Hasan Minhaj to headline White House Correspondents' Dinner

Kenan Thompson on "SNL" in 2018. Photo: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC via Getty Images

Kenan Thompson, the longest-tenured "Saturday Night Live" cast member, will host the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on April 25.

And Hasan Minhaj — host of Netflix’s "Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj," and the entertainer at the 2017 dinner — will return as featured entertainer.

"Billions": Season 2020

Mike Bloomberg speaks at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, Va., on Saturday. Photo: James H. Wallace/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP

Money alone can’t buy a presidential election, but it surely gets you VIP access.

Why it matters: Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is duking it out with Billionaire Donald Trump, often on Billionaire Jack Dorsey’s Twitter and in ads on Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, all chronicled in Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post. 

Biometrics invade banking and retail

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Banks have been quietly rolling out biometrics to identify customers — verifying them by their fingerprint, voice or eye scan — and retailers like Amazon are getting into the game.

Why it matters: These companies are amassing giant databases of our most personal information — including our gait, how we hold our cellphones, our typing patterns — that raise knotty questions about data security and privacy.