A federal judge who had grilled CVS Health and Aetna Inc. officials as well as industry experts about the health giants’ proposed merger on Wednesday gave his seal of approval to the $69 billion acquisition.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon previously appeared skeptical of the merger, particularly after Department of Justice attorneys swiftly presented him with an option to approve the deal after filing their challenge to the merger. He held two days of hearings in June to hear testimony over the potential impact of the merger and at times criticized Main Justice and the companies over their conduct during the deal.

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