$30bn merger between Aon and Willis Towers Watson axed

Aon and Willis Towers Watson said they have agreed to terminate their roughly $30bn deal and end litigation with the Justice Department, which alleged the tie-up would lead to higher prices and reduced innovation for US businesses.

The deal termination follows a Justice Department lawsuit last month that came after an investigation of more than a year. The department said the insurance brokerages’ combination would eliminate competition in several different US product markets, including brokering services for property, casualty and liability insurance, as well as health benefits for large corporate customers.

READ Aon seals $30bn deal for Willis Towers Watson

“We reached an impasse with the US Department of Justice,“ Aon chief executive Greg Case said Monday. “The DOJ position overlooks that our complementary businesses operate across broad, competitive areas of the economy.”

Case added that “the inability to secure an expedited resolution of the litigation brought us to this point.”

Aon said it would pay a $1bn termination fee to Willis Towers Watson.

READ Aon to cut salaries of most employees and suspend stock buybacks

The companies announced the deal in March 2020. The brokerages 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.

Write to Dave Sebastian at [email protected]

This article was published by Dow Jones Newswires

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