Aon and Willis Towers Watson announced that the firms have agreed to terminate their US$30 billion business combination agreement and end litigation with the US Department of Justice (DOJ).
The DOJ filed a lawsuit against the deal last month, the first big test of the Biden administration’s more muscular antitrust policy. The suit, filed in a Washington federal court, alleged that the proposed merger would lead to higher prices and reduced innovation for US businesses, employers and unions that rely on their services.
The brokerages, which announced their deal in March 2020, help companies buy insurance and advise them on risk management. Both companies are also major consultants to businesses on health and other benefit packages for their employees.
The DOJ lawsuit followed an investigation of more than a year. Aon and Willis Towers had already sold off assets to smaller rivals to appease the antitrust watchdog by creating new and larger competitors, but to no avail.
“We reached an impasse with the U.S. Department of Justice,“ Aon Chief Executive Greg Case said Monday, July 26.
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