UnitedHealth, Change Healthcare enter timing agreement with DOJ over megamerger

The Department of Justice building
UnitedHealth and Change Healthcare have inked a timing arrangement with DOJ over their planned merger. (robertcicchetti/Getty Images)

UnitedHealth Group and Change Healthcare have entered into a timing agreement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for their planned $8 billion merger.

In late March, DOJ made a second request for additional details and documentary information related to the merger. Under the timing agreement, which was reached Aug. 7, UnitedHealth and Change agree to not "consummate" their merger before 120 days have passed since the two certified their compliance with the agency's request.

The exception is if they receive written confirmation from DOJ that it has completed its investigation in that window, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from Change Healthcare.

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Additionally, both companies agreed they would not certify their compliance any earlier than Sept. 15, according to the filing.

The companies and the agency reached an agreement shortly after news reports surfaced that DOJ was considering a lawsuit to block the merger.

Critics of the merger, such as the American Hospital Association, have warned that the deal could lead to a "massive consolidation" in healthcare data.

UnitedHealth and Change expect the deal to close during the second half of 2021.