UnitedHealth pushes back deadline…

UnitedHealth Group has pushed back the deadline for its nearly $8 billion acquisition of Change Healthcare, according to a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Change said in the filing that UnitedHealth informed the company it was pushing back the deal’s outside date to April 2022. Previous filings suggested the acquisition could close as early as late February.

Within the merger agreement, both companies have the right to push back the outside date.

UnitedHealth and Change are awaiting the completion of an investigation into the merger by the Department of Justice (DOJ), which has been probing the deal on antitrust grounds.

RELATED: UnitedHealth-Change Healthcare deal could close in late February

UnitedHealth executives said during its third-quarter earnings call in October that it expects acquisition to close in the “first part” of 2022. The agreement was first announced in January and since then has generated plenty of controversy.

Opponents of the deal, such as the American Hospital Association, warn that if UnitedHealth is allowed to scoop up Change, it could create a huge monopoly on healthcare data.

The DOJ began investigating the acquisition in March amid a growing chorus of antitrust concerns. The agency was reportedly considering a lawsuit to intervene in the deal in early August, but, later that month, UnitedHealth and Change entered into a timing agreement to delay closing until it completed its investigation.

UnitedHealth intends to fold Change Healthcare into OptumInsight, its analytics arm.

The new filing does not provide an update on the status of the DOJ investigation, but Change previously said in SEC documents that both companies are fully complying with the agency.

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