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CVS-Aetna merger becomes official after federal judge approval

A man walks outside a CVS pharmacy building.
CVS-Aetna is a done deal. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Federal Judge Richard Leon has officially approved CVS Health's acquisition of Aetna, writing in an opinion that the companies' settlement of selling off Medicare drug plans "is well 'within the reaches' of the public interest."

The big picture: CVS has been operating as if the merger was completed, and legal experts said the judge didn't have the authority to unwind the deal. This final order puts everything to rest, including concerns that combining CVS and Aetna will lead to anti-competitive conduct in different health care markets.