WellPoint Health Networks, Thousand Oaks, Calif., said it will not appeal Maryland Insurance Commissioner Steven Larsen's rejection of WellPoint's proposed acquisition of CareFirst Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Owings Mills, Md. The company's decision ends an 18-month saga in which the proposal to purchase CareFirst and convert the insurer into a for-profit generated significant controversy in the public and private sectors. CareFirst also has said it will not challenge Larsen's decision. Studies performed for Larsen's office alleged that CareFirst's sale price was considerably below the company's value, and rich severance packages for CareFirst executives were widely criticized. -- by Tony Fong
WellPoint to let CareFirst go without further fight
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