Justice Department Sues to Block Aon Acquisition of Willis Towers Watson

Government antitrust lawsuit alleges merger of insurance brokers will suppress competition

Justice Department Sues to Block Aon Acquisition of Willis Towers Watson

The Justice Department on Wednesday filed an antitrust lawsuit challenging insurance broker Aon PLC's proposed $35 billion acquisition of rival Willis Towers Watson PLC, alleging the tie-up would lead to higher prices and reduced innovation for U.S. businesses, employers and unions that rely upon their services.

The section, that filed the case in a Washington federal court, said that the merger would eliminate competition in many different markets of value to the U.S. market.

The lawsuit marks the Justice Department's first major antitrust action during the Biden administration, though it's been exploring the deal for over a year.

"American companies and consumers rely on rivalry between Aon and Willis Towers Watson to reduce prices for critical services, including health and retirement benefits consulting," Attorney General Merrick Garland explained. "Allowing Aon and Willis Towers Watson to merge would reduce that vital contest 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.

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