Aetna didn't get to merge with Humana, and Anthem didn't get to merge with Cigna, but at least they're $1.5 billion poorer for it. That was the total amount of fees they paid to the lawyers and investment bankers who tried to help them combine, Bob Herman found after adding up all the fees they disclosed in Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Bob has been working on this piece for quite a while, and it's a good look at just how much the companies sank into the efforts — and how all of that spending affects consumers and investors.
Among the firms that got the money: banks like Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Credit Suisse, and law firms like White & Case and Jones Day. It started with summer 2015, when the proposed mergers were announced, and ended with the court rulings that slapped them down. Except it's not really over for Anthem, since it's going to appeal the ruling against the Cigna merger. Read Bob's story here.