Feb. 17--A Delaware Court has granted a request by Blue Cross Blue Shield carrier Anthem Inc. for a restraining order blocking Cigna Corp. from ending a merger agreement and seeking billions from the failed deal.
Cigna said in a regulatory filing that the Chancery Court granted Anthem's request Wednesday. The court decision is procedural and is not a ruling on the merits of the case.
Anthem sought to buy the Bloomfield-based Cigna for $48 billion, but a federal judge blocked the deal last week, citing concerns over reduced marketplace competition.
Cigna announced Tuesday it was suing Anthem and seeking more than $13 billion in damages for what it says were Anthem's breaches of the merger agreement.
The Indianapolis, Ind.-based Anthem went to court Wednesday, seeking the temporary restraining order to prevent Cigna from "terminating, and taking any action contrary to the terms" of the agreement.
In its recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Cigna said it will continue to abide by terms of the merger agreement until the Chancery Court further reviews the case. A hearing will be scheduled the week of April 10, Cigna said.
Anthem and Cigna had touted the merger as a way to increase enrollment, cut costs and save money for consumers. They also said the deal, which would have consolidated the nation's five largest insurers into three, would help stabilize business on the Affordable Care Act's public insurance exchanges.
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