(Bloomberg) — U.S. opposition to proposed mergers in the pay-TV, mobile-phone and airline industries suggests a tough battle ahead for two health insurer deals: Anthem's takeover of Cigna and Aetna's bid for Humana.

It's the job of antitrust officials to make sure that deals don't harm competition, and they commonly do that by evaluating local markets for conflicts: Are enough airlines serving Minneapolis? Are enough supermarkets competing in the Northeast section of Washington?

Under that model, it typically takes only a few strategic divestitures — the sale of a Minneapolis route to a competitor, for example — to get approval for the broader deal.

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