Judge Richard Leon of theU.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. (Photo: Diego M.Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL)

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 $69billion acquisition.

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

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Nate Robson

Nate Robson is the U.S. Supreme Court and regulatory editor. Contact him at [email protected]. On Twitter: @Nate_Robson1.