Anthem's bitter and costly courtship of rival Cigna is officially over, but the hostilities may linger. The Indianapolis-based insurer announced Friday that it was calling things off after suffering another loss in the courts. A Delaware Chancery Court judge late last week denied Anthem's request to prevent Cigna from backing out of the $54 billion merger agreement. "Anthem has delivered to Cigna a notice terminating the Merger Agreement," the company said in a statement. "Cigna has failed to perform and comply in all material respects with its contractual obligations." Anthem also said that it would not pay Cigna an estimated $1.85 billion breakup fee. In fact, Anthem hinted that it would be going after Cigna for losses due to the merger.
The Delaware judge's ruling came three months after a U.S. District Court judge blocked the union, saying it would harm competition in the national employer market, and more than a year and a half after the insurers struck the deal. In the February opinion blocking the deal, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson wrote that Cigna executives were actively warning against the deal, and that the relationship between the two companies was "the elephant in the room."