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Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

CVS Health and Aetna officials next week will have to convince a federal judge in court that their closed merger is legitimate and that the settlement terms negotiated by the Department of Justice are fine and dandy.

Threat level: Judge Richard Leon, who gave the final seal of approval for the AT&T-Time Warner merger, likely can’t tell CVS and Aetna to unscramble their merger completely, said Andrea Agathoklis Murino, a former DOJ antitrust attorney now at the law firm Goodwin Procter. "But he can say the remedy was insufficient."

The details: The deal’s main concession was Aetna agreeing to sell its Medicare drug plans to WellCare.

  • However, that would mostly shift people toward another large player, and it wouldn’t address the antitrust concerns around stacking a health plan, a pharmacy benefit manager and pharmacies under one umbrella.
  • It's a long shot to send everyone back to the drawing board, said Tim Greaney, a former DOJ antitrust attorney who teaches at UC Hastings. But that doesn’t mean the terms of the settlement can’t change.

Go deeper: The problem facing the CVS Health-Aetna merger

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
48 mins ago - Podcasts

Net neutrality on the line under Biden

Federal net neutrality rules are back on the table in the Biden administration, after being nixed by Trump, but now might be complicated by the debate over social media companies' behavior.

Axios Re:Cap digs into why net neutrality matters and what comes next with Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of The Verge and host of the Decoder podcast.

House grants waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon

Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted 326-78 on Thursday to grant retired Gen. Lloyd Austin a waiver to lead the Pentagon, clearing the way for the Senate to confirm President Biden's nominee for defense secretary as early as this week.

Why it matters: Austin's nomination received pushback from some lawmakers, including Democrats, who cited a law that requires officers be out of the military for at least seven years before taking the job — a statute intended to reinforce the tradition of civilian control of the Pentagon.

Amanda Gorman steals the show on Inauguration Day

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Axios Visuals

Poet Amanda Gorman by far generated the most average interactions on social media on Inauguration Day, according to exclusive data from NewsWhip.