Jun 13, 2018

What AT&T's merger win means for health care

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.

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There are warning signs that Nevada could be Iowa all over again

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D) lines up to cast an early vote for the upcoming Nevada Democratic presidential caucus. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The alarms are increasingly sounding over Nevada's Democratic caucus, which is just five days away.

Why it matters: Similar issues to the ones that plagued Iowa's caucus seem to be rearing their ugly heads, the WashPost reports.

China tries to contain coronavirus, as Apple warns of earnings impact

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

As China pushes to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus — placing around 780 million people under travel restrictions, per CNN — the economic repercussions continue to be felt globally as companies like Apple warn of the impact from the lack of manufacturing and consumer demand in China.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,775 people and infected more than 70,000 others, mostly in mainland China. There are some signs that new cases are growing at a slower rate now, although the World Health Organization said Monday it's "too early to tell" if this will continue.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Apple will miss quarterly earnings estimates due to coronavirus

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Apple issued a rare earnings warning on Monday, saying it would not meet quarterly revenue expectations due to the impact of the coronavirus, which will limit iPhone production and limit product demand in China.

Why it matters: Lots of companies rely on China for production, but unlike most U.S. tech companies, Apple also gets a significant chunk of its revenue from sales in China.