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Aon, Willis $30B merger canceled after Justice Department suit

By
Kyle Barnett
Aon PLC will lose $1 billion after its deal to take over the Willis Tower was canceled Monday, July 26.  (UPI Photo/Brian Kersey)
Aon PLC will lose $1 billion after its deal to take over the Willis Tower was canceled Monday, July 26.  (UPI Photo/Brian Kersey) | License Photo

July 26 (UPI) -- Aon and Willis Towers Watson on Monday called off a $30 billion deal that, had it gone through, would have resulted in the world's largest insurance broker.

The move comes only weeks after the Department of Justice announced a lawsuit blocking the transaction.

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Aon Plc said the deal was canceled on a mutual basis between the second and third largest insurance companies in the world.

Aon will forfeit a $1 billion termination fee as part of the cancelation, the two companies said in a joint press release.

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In the announcement, Aon CEO Greg Case said the termination followed the end of litigation between the two firms with the Justice Department.

"Despite regulatory momentum around the world, including the recent approval of our combination by the European Commission, we reached an impasse with the U.S. Department of Justice," Case said. "The DOJ position overlooks that our complementary businesses operate across broad, competitive areas of the economy. We are confident that the combination would have accelerated our shared ability to innovate on behalf of clients, but the inability to secure an expedited resolution of the litigation brought us to this point."

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The Department of Justice sued the pair in June, arguing the deal was anticompetitive.

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The Biden administration has vowed to penalize such behavior.

Willis Towers Watson CEO John Haley said the company "deeply respect[s] all the Aon colleagues we got to know through this process."

"Our team's resilience and commitment are a source of pride and confidence. They have continued to bring to life Willis Towers Watson's compelling value proposition to better serve our clients in the areas of people, risk and capital."

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