The U.S. Justice Department has given permission to Highmark and Independence Blue Cross, the two largest insurers in Pennsylvania, to merge. The companies were granted clearance for the move in May 2007, but such clearances expire after a year and so Highmark and Blue Cross had to request permission again. The merger would result in a $22 billion company with 7 million members. Highmark is the parent company of HVHC, which owns Eye Care Centers of America, Davis Vision and Viva International.