The new filings shine a light on the extent of discord in the blockbuster antitrust case. (Photo: AP)

Lawyers defending Aetna Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Humana Inc. accused the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday of “serious delay and misconduct” as the two health insurance companies demand access to regulatory information to defend their $37 billion deal.

In a request for sanctions filed in Washington federal district court, the companies’ lawyers alleged the government withheld about 1 million documents. And they argued the government’s alleged obstruction has “gravely undermined” the ability of the insurers to mount a defense against claims from antitrust enforcers that the acquisition would drive up the price of insurance.

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