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Aetna, Humana extend merger end date

Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. have extended the end date of their pending merger by agreeing to waive their rights to terminate the merger agreement until 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 15, 2017.

A decision in the Justice Department's ongoing antitrust challenge to the proposed merger is not expected before Dec. 31 According to The Connecticut Mirror, attorneys for the Justice Department and the insurers will make a final argument on Dec. 30 before U.S. District Judge John Bates, who is presiding over the deal's antitrust case. Bates is reportedly expected to rule in mid-January 2017.

Meanwhile, the antitrust trial in the pending deal between Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp. has been extended into early 2017, according to the report.