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June 16, 2021, 5:42 p.m. EDT

Justice Department sues to stop Aon’s $35 billion purchase of Willis Towers Watson

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By Brent Kendall, and Ben Dummett

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Wednesday filed an antitrust lawsuit challenging insurance broker Aon PLC’s /zigman2/quotes/203448336/composite AON +0.83% proposed $35 billion acquisition of rival Willis Towers Watson PLC /zigman2/quotes/202694274/composite WLTW +1.75% , alleging the tie-up would lead to higher prices and reduced innovation for U.S. businesses, employers and unions that rely on their services.

The department, which filed the case in a Washington federal court, said the merger would eliminate competition in several different markets of value to the U.S. economy.

The lawsuit marks the Justice Department’s first major antitrust action during the Biden administration, though it has been investigating the deal for more than a year.

“American companies and consumers rely on competition between Aon and Willis Towers Watson to lower prices for crucial services, such as health and retirement benefits consulting,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. “Allowing Aon and Willis Towers Watson to merge would reduce that vital competition and leave American customers with fewer choices, higher prices and lower quality services.”

A spokesman for Willis Towers declined to comment. A spokesman for Aon said the company had no immediate comment.

An expanded version of this article appears at WSJ.com .

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/zigman2/quotes/203448336/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 264.47
+2.18 +0.83%
Volume: 1.87M
July 29, 2021 1:39p
P/E Ratio
28.86
Dividend Yield
0.77%
Market Cap
$59.19 billion
Rev. per Employee
$221,300
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/zigman2/quotes/202694274/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 205.13
+3.53 +1.75%
Volume: 1.62M
July 29, 2021 1:39p
P/E Ratio
18.74
Dividend Yield
1.38%
Market Cap
$26.00 billion
Rev. per Employee
$203,232
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