Feds taking a deeper look at CVS-Signify deal

The feds want to take a deeper look at CVS' acquisition of Signify Health, the companies said Thursday.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, CVS Health said the Department of Justice (DOJ) sent the companies a second request for information on the merger on Oct. 19. The second request allows the agency 30 extra days to probe the merger

"CVS Health and Signify Health have been working cooperatively with the DOJ and will continue to do so," CVS said in the filing.

The DOJ has put a focus on antitrust enforcement of late and has taken similar steps to dig further into major merger deals in healthcare, including UnitedHealth Group's acquisitions of Change Healthcare and LHC Group.

The agency's failed attempt to block the UnitedHealth-Change deal was a major blow to its antitrust efforts, and that deal closed earlier this month after a federal judge rejected DOJ's challenge.

CVS announced in early September that it would acquire Signify, a home health and technology company, after a bidding war that included competitors like Amazon and UnitedHealth. The healthcare giant will buy Signify for about $8 billion in cash.

Executives told Fierce Healthcare at the time of the announcement that the merger was one of CVS' first major steps into healthcare services and that they saw it as an opportunity to advance its reach in home health. CVS sees Signify as complementary to its MinuteClinics and other retail health services.

Despite the second request, CVS said in the filing that the deal is still on track to close in the first half of 2023.