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While CVS Health and Aetna Inc. aren’t direct competitors, federal regulators are still likely to take a close look at the companies’ planned merger, corporate lawyers said.

The retail pharmacy giant announced Sunday that it had agreed to purchase Aetna, one of the country’s largest health insurers, for about $69 billion. Because CVS of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, and Aetna Inc., of Hartford, Connecticut, do not operate in exactly the same industry, the former’s planned takeover of the latter is a so-called vertical merger, which traditionally have fared better under Washington, D.C.’s scrutiny, the lawyers said.

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Kristen Rasmussen

Kristen Rasmussen is an Atlanta-based reporter who covers corporate law departments and in-house attorneys.

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