The feds are still reviewing the CVS-Aetna deal. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The court decision allowing AT&T's takeover of Time Warner, with no conditions, upholds the traditional view that vertical mergers don't pose the same antitrust threats as horizontal ones.

Why it matters: AT&T's win makes it more likely (though not completely certain) that the two giant vertical health care mergers pending with the Department of Justice — CVS' $69 billion acquisition of Aetna and Cigna's $52 billion deal for Express Scripts — will also get the green light.

Yes, but: There’s still a chance antitrust officials may want to block these health care deals on the grounds the merged companies may have incentives to exclude rivals from their health insurance and pharmacy benefit options. Mergers really are looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Two concurrent reviews of consolidating pharmacy benefit managers also has an aura of summer 2016, when the DOJ blocked the simultaneous deals that would have consolidated health insurers.

  • But the DOJ was handed a major loss and may not pursue those routes knowing it could lose again.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
26 mins ago - World

U.S.-brokered ceasefire collapses in Nagorno-Karabakh

Volunteer fighters in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh. Photo: Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S.-brokered ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh crumbled within hours on Monday, leaving the month-old war rumbling on.

Why it matters: Nearly 5,000 people have been killed, according to Vladimir Putin’s rough estimate, including more than 100 civilians. Between 70,000 and 100,000 more are believed to have fled the fighting.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Pence no longer expected to attend Barrett confirmation vote after COVID exposure.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.
Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Japan's big new climate goal

Climate protest in Tokyo in November 2019. Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

Japan's new prime minister said on Monday the nation will seek to become carbon neutral by 2050, a move that will require huge changes in its fossil fuel-heavy energy mix in order to succeed.

Why it matters: Japan is the world's fifth-largest source of carbon emissions. The new goal announced by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is stronger than the country's previous target of becoming carbon neutral as early as possible in the latter half of the century.