EU authorities approve the $30 billion merger of Aon and Willis

The EU competition authority has approved Aon to acquire Willis Towers Watson for US$30 billion. The transaction aims to build the world’s largest insurance broker, but it is currently facing investigations by US regulators.

The European Commission said on Friday that it has accepted the package of remedies provided by both parties, most of which are a $3.6 billion transaction Happened in May Sell ​​a series of businesses to compete with Gallagher. Aon also proposed to sell its German retirement consulting and investment solutions business to “appropriate buyers.”

Margrethe Vestager, the commission’s director of competition, stated that the package disposal “ensures that European companies, including insurance companies and large multinational clients, will continue to have a good Choice and good service”.

Aon and Willis stated that obtaining approval in Brussels is “an important step and demonstrates continued progress in obtaining regulatory approvals for the proposed merger”.

In a joint statement, they added: “Both companies operate in a broad and highly competitive economy and believe that this approval affirms that our proposed merger will accelerate innovation on behalf of our customers, in an already dynamic and competitive economy. Create more choices in a fierce market.”

but transaction In the US, another major market for the two companies, the road to completion is more difficult.

Ministry of Justice last month Prosecute Blocking the acquisition, saying that the merger of two of the three major insurance brokers will “eliminate fierce frontal competition and may lead to higher prices and reduced innovation, harming American companies, their customers, employees, and retirees.”

Aon and Willis have been hoping to complete the transaction in the third quarter-with the delay of the regulatory investigation, the completion timetable has been postponed from the first half of this year.

At a U.S. court hearing earlier this week, the broker Push The antitrust trial started in September, while government representatives advocated to start in January to allow time for preparation.

In the end, the two parties agreed to start negotiations on November 18, but U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton warned that even this date is at risk of being delayed because he has already assigned some storm-related cases. United States Capitol in January.

After the surge in M&A activity during the pandemic, the transaction is one of the few complex M&A investigations concluded in Brussels in recent months.

The merger between Nvidia and Arm-which is expected to be filed later this year-will be subject to in-depth scrutiny of competition issues by regulators.

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