UnitedHealth Group Inc. won court approval for its $7.8 billion acquisition of Change Healthcare Inc., defeating a Justice Department lawsuit that sought to block the deal.

The decision by a Washington federal judge Monday is a win for UnitedHealth Group, which has sought to diversify its business beyond insurance. The company plans to merge Change – which operates a network used by doctors, hospitals, dentists and pharmacies to exchange health insurance claims for reimbursement – with its Optum Insight data and consulting business.

In a one-page order, US District Judge Carl Nichols ruled in favor of the merger and directed the companies to divest ClaimsXten to TPG Capital, as proposed.

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