A federal judge in Chicago ruled against Omnicares claims alleging that UnitedHealth Group and PacifiCare conspired to abuse their 2005 merger to force the long-term-care pharmacy into an unfair Medicare Part D contract.
After reviewing the evidence before the lawsuit proceeded to trial, Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer granted summary judgment to UnitedHealth, finding that Omnicare failed to show that the insurers violated federal antitrust law or committed fraud. The insurance companies were negotiating separately for Part D contracts with Omnicare before entering their merger agreement. According to the facts laid out in the opinion, PacifiCare ended but then returned to its talks with the pharmacy, finally striking a deal that turned out to be better than the one arrived at with UnitedHealth. After the merger was finalized, UnitedHealth dropped its own contract and took advantage of the PacifiCares more favorable one.
We do not agree with this ruling, and we continue to believe our claims against United are strong, Omnicare said in a written statement. The company has been advised by its legal advisers that there are valid and compelling grounds for appeal and the company will do so promptly.
In a written statement issued by UnitedHealth, Senior Deputy General Counsel Peter Walsh countered, We have maintained throughout this litigation that UnitedHealth Groups dealings with Omnicare and its acquisition of PacifiCare were conducted in good faith, and we are gratified that the court agrees.