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Anthem CEO expects antitrust decision in July

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(Reuters) — Anthem Inc. CEO Joseph Swedish said on Tuesday the health insurer was pushing for approval from antitrust regulators reviewing its acquisition of Cigna Corp. and expects to hear a decision in July.

Mr. Swedish said antitrust regulators have asked many questions about its and Cigna Corp.'s national businesses of managing health care benefits paid by large employers, adding that the overall review was moving forward as expected.

Mr. Swedish, speaking at the UBS Global Healthcare Conference, said Anthem has argued to regulators that the deal will save consumers money as the combined company would be able to cut costs for medical services, he said.

Mr. Swedish said he expects the U.S. Department of Justice to make a determination on the deal in July. He spoke openly about the process after the Wall Street Journal reported there was heated correspondence between Anthem's and Cigna's top lawyers working on the review. The company had previously declined to comment.

Anthem general counsel Thomas Zielinski said on Tuesday the company is to meet with the Justice Department in July, when they expect to learn if the deal will be rejected, approved, or approved with remediations such as asset sales.