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12/05/18

Kings of Leon

There were two slight variation options for today’s post title.

I went with ‘Kings of Leon’ only because it gave me a free pass on giving a tip of the cap to one of my favorite songs.  I get my money’s worth from my Spotify subscription and their mysterious and magical algorithm that tracks my ‘likes’ will show that Southern Rock is the genre to which I lean the most.  Yes, I am as psychologically confusing as the mix of rock and roll, country music and R&B would suggest.  I prefer to characterize both the genre, and me, as ‘deep and textured.’

The Kings of Leon won the 2009 Record of the Year for the song, ‘Use Somebody,’ a lusty Bruce Springsteen type number that gave hope because another young band of hipster millennials recognized the spiritual importance of the Southern Rock influence.

However, I could have just gone with ‘King Leon’ and cut right to the chase.

Monday, US District Judge Richard Leon (DC District) told CVS and Aetna to ‘hold your horses’ on their merger.  The merger that was approved by the Justice Department and several states.  The merger that was actually consummated with shareholders last week. The merger that means there are no longer two companies, but one.

Here’s a little context to help understand what is going on. 

The Tunney Act requires that when the government has concerns about a merger (which it did here) and then reaches an agreement with the merging companies (which it did here), the Feds must file the proposed settlement for approval by a federal court.  The court is to confirm that the terms of settlement are actually in the public interest and not some political dealing done by the administration.

These settlements are almost universally approved by the court, generally without so much as a hearing. 

Except when they are assigned to Judge Leon, who doesn’t like being treated like a rubber stamp.  This summer he similarly refused to sign off on Justice’s deal to allow the AT&T-Time Warner merger to proceed.  They, too, thought they were done, but are now on appeal.

CVS-Aetna are saying, ‘Uh, we have already started sharing our secret hand-shakes.’  The folks over at the DOJ are pushing back as well, saying the jurist is over-stepping his constitutional bounds.

The judge suggested that they not act too quickly toward moving in together and picking out china.  ‘Keep the assets separate and I’ll see you in my courtroom on December 18.’

As the Followill boys sang:

Off in the night, while you live it up, I’m off to sleep
Waging wars to shape the poet and the beat
I hope it’s gonna make you notice
I hope it’s gonna make you notice

Someone like me, someone like me.

Well, Judge Leon, they now notice someone like you.

Stay tuned…this done deal is not quite done just yet.

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ALN

Tim Coan, ALN’s CEO, writes an insightful and witty blog three times a week about a variety of topics relevant to independent physician practices.

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