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CVS Merger With Aetna Means Free Advil and Hot Wheels For Everyone

Daniel Chase




By a show of hands, how many of you know that the three-letter abbreviation CVS used by CVS Health Corp (CVS), the company responsible for selling painkillers and birthday cards to millions of Americans every day, stands for Consumer Value Store? Don’t feel guilt or some sense of moral disillusionment, it’s really not your fault. What you should know is that as of Wednesday, CVS Health Corp (CVS). closed its $70 billion deal to buy health insurance giant Aetna Inc. (AET), after months of negotiations and approval-seeking from the federal government. 

As it stands, Aetna (AET) is the nation’s third-largest health insurance company, providing care to over 22 million members across the country. According to CVS’s (CVS) official press release, the reasoning behind the merger was largely in part to increasing access and quality of health care for American consumers. Recent statistics indicate that roughly 16% of working-age Americans do not have health insurance. When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, the Obama administration included an “individual mandate” that required nearly all Americans to get covered or pay a penalty, but, nevertheless, access to affordable health care is still a real issue. 

CVS, (CVS) in their press release regarding the merger with Aetna (AET), hopes that “new products and services developed by the combined company will be broadly available to the health care marketplace, regardless of one’s insurer, pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) or pharmacy of choice.” As one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit management (PBM) companies, CVS, (CVS) which operates more than 10,000 stores nationwide, will potentially start producing and distributing lower cost options for pharmaceuticals as a result of the merger. 

“By fully integrating Aetna’s medical information and analytics with CVS Health’s pharmacy data, we can develop new ways to engage consumers in their total health and wellness through personal contacts and deeper collaboration with their primary care physicians. As a result, we expect patients will benefit from earlier interventions and better-connected care, leading to improved health outcomes and lower medical costs.”

Larry J. Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health 

In addition to new product opportunities, CVS Health (CVS) plans on furthering its successful “Project Health” screening events in partnership with Aetna’s “commitment to building healthier communities” by offering free preventive health screenings in low-income communities and other areas with poor access to quality preventative treatment. 

Despite the fact that CVS’s (CVS) chief has lauded Wednesday as “the start of a new day in health care and transformative moment for the industry,” there are reasons to be vigilant of the potential ramifications of the $70 billion mergers between the largest pharmacy and one of the largest national health insurers. Steven Pearlstein, a columnist for the Washington Post, points out that in a typical “vertical merger” like the deal involving CVS (CVS) and Aetna (AET), two non-competing companies who join forces will be good for the market “on the theory that competition will force the newly merged company to pass most of the benefit of any increased efficiency to consumers.” However, this theory cannot be applied to the CVS/Aetna (AET) merger because both companies are dominant in their respective sectors, and neither sector is necessarily competitive. 

In this case, the current scenario presents a very dangerous outcome for competitive health of the market. Pearlstein calls this a “horizontal consolidation” which results in no real competitive advantage for companies in the space, but three or four giant firms wise up to this notion and team up to regulate prices to their liking. Typically PBMS like CVS (CVS) has served as the middlemen of the prescription drug market between drug manufacturers and health care providers. The CVS/Aetna (AET) merger eliminates the need for a middleman and will allow Aetna to steer its members directly into CVS pharmacies for their prescription drug needs. 

Pearlstein writes that the purpose of antitrust law is meant to prevent a situation exactly like what is taking place between CVS (CVS) and Aetna (AET) — “merging a dominant firm in one highly concentrated market with a dominant firm in an adjacent market in a way that allows the combined firm to use exclusive dealing and the lack of price transparency to increase its market power and drive independent competitors from the marketplace.” 

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in collaboration and the merging of companies to provide the best services for consumers, but the CVS/Aetna deal may causing more harm to the health care sector than it provides increased access and quality care to millions of Americans.

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Where Will Oil Go After This Week’s Price Hit?

Jon Phillip



oil and gas news

Even though oil had been taking a beating over the last 2 trading sessions, its price rose to $69 per barrel on Friday. However, oil prices are experiencing the worst week of 2019 mainly due to potential economic slowdown and ever-growing oil inventories. US oil inventories have not been this high since July of 2017. And to top it all off, the trade war between the US and China is growing wearier every day further affecting oil prices.

Naeem Aslam, the chief market analyst at TF Global Markets, stated, “Clearly, bargain hunters are back in town.” He later added, “However, it is still set to record the worst week of the year and this is due to the increase in trade war tensions between the U.S. and China.”

Global Scale

The global benchmark for oil, Brent Crude, has experienced a decrease of 5 percent this week. However, Brent Crude this morning climbed $0.98 to value each barrel at $68.74. Due to US sanctions and voluntary supply cuts, a floor under prices held. Market analysts are expecting the oil market to recover off of the price floor.

“It is reasonable to doubt whether Saudi Arabia will be willing to step up its output given the latest decline in prices, […] we therefore expect to see higher oil prices again in the near future,” Explain analysts at Commerzbank.

In order to make the market tighter, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has been cutting oil supplies since the beginning of the year. 

Brent Crude’s prices reflect that the supply and demand of oil is tightly knit. According to UBS, Brent Crude should get back to $75 this month as supply gets tighter and tighter.

“Compliance of OPEC and its allies to the production cut deal remains high, while production from Iran and Venezuela is likely to again trend lower this month,” explains analyst Giovanni Staunovo,

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Featured Friday Morning Update – May 24, 2019

Joe Samuel



New Systems & AI Trigger Innovation In Security Industry; Can Lockheed Martin Adapt?

Threats to people’s lives are constantly developing across the globe. In order to mitigate the growing fears of international conflict, security and defense companies have continuously innovated. Living in constant fear is never sought and these companies understand that. Security innovations allow people in the US to walk around freely at the park or go watch their favorite artist at a concert with little to no fear.

New Potential for the Security Industry & Security Stocks – Click Here

Two Massive Growth Industries, One Choice for Investors

Two of the fastest growing industries right now in the United States are on-demand technology and cannabis. These two industries are at the epicenter of growth and investors aren’t being shy about their appetite for companies in these arenas. But one company, in particular, has developed a unique business model that services both of these massive growth industries.

Click Here For More Information

The Delivery Market in the Age of Convenience; Can GrubHub & Uber Adapt?

As the internet grows and develops, people and services become more connected. Thus, the food delivery service industry has blown up over recent years. Big players like UberEats (UBER), Postmates, and DoorDash are making big splashes against competitors like GrubHub (GRUB). These companies only represent a fraction of what delivery services can become.

Will This Be The Future For Delivery Stocks As We Know It? Click Here

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New Systems & AI Trigger Innovation In Security Industry; Can Lockheed Martin Adapt?

Joe Samuel



Threats to people’s lives are constantly developing across the globe. In order to mitigate the growing fears of international conflict, security and defense companies have continuously innovated.

Living in constant fear is never sought and these companies understand that. Security innovations allow people in the US to walk around freely at the park or go watch their favorite artist at a concert with little to no fear.

New Potential for the Security Industry & Security Stocks

While developing security protocols and machines to fight threats overseas is important, home-grown threats have become a point of concern for US citizens. Mass shootings have increased, and the Muslim radicalization of American citizens is prevalent as ever. In order to make people safer, Liberty Defense has come to fill that hole.

Liberty Defense Holdings Ltd. (SCAN.V) is developing HEXWAVE to revolutionize how facilities get secured. HEXWAVE can be used to detect any kind of weapon through 3D imaging. The technology utilizes both quickness and indiscretion to produce warnings of potential threats while respecting people’s privacy. 

While the product is still undergoing testing, Liberty Defense Holdings Ltd. (SCAN.V) has been taking steps to put HEXWAVE in front of the public. The company recently announced signing a memorandum of understanding with Utah’s Attorney General to beta test HEXWAVE there. The technology can be tested at sporting events, amusement parks, schools, and government buildings.

Bill Riker, Liberty Defense’s CEO, stated, “HEXWAVE can be applied in a variety of settings to provide a means to identify possible threats before they advance into attacks. We are excited that the Attorney General of Utah recognizes the potential value of this technology and the opportunity it provides for enhanced security in the state.”

What’s Should Be Expected Of Defense Companies?

When people think about the US armed forces they marvel at the gear used from tanks to jet planes. Most people do not take the moment to think where the US actually gets its arms from.

Report: This New Technology Could Transform A Multi-Billion-Dollar Industry!

One company responsible for US defenses is Lockheed Martin (LMT). Lockheed Martin develops and manufactures missile systems, aircraft, and training systems. They even provide cybersecurity services to governmental figures.

While Lockheed Martin controls a large portion of the defense industry, they show no signs of slowing down. Recently, the company made progress on its new production facility in Alabama. It is expected to be a 225,000 square foot facility to fulfill US Air Force needs.

The construction is expected to be finished in 2021. Executive Vice President, Frank St. John, explained, “All our employees come to work with an unwavering commitment to help our customers succeed in their mission to create a more secure and prosperous world.”

security defense stock
Disclaimer: Pursuant to an agreement between MIDAM VENTURES, LLC and Liberty Defense Holdings Inc. Midam was hired for a period from 04/15/2018 – 5/15/2019 to publicly disseminate information about Liberty Defense Holdings Inc. including on the Website and other media including Facebook and Twitter now extended through June 21, 2019. We were paid $350,000 (CASH) for & were paid “0” shares of restricted common shares. We may buy or sell additional shares of Liberty Defense Holdings Inc. in the open market at any time, including before, during or after the Website and Information, provide public dissemination of favorable Information. FULL DISCLAIMER HERE

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