Aon reportedly did not offer concessions to address the competition concerns of EC
Aon and Willis Towers Watson’s (Willis) $30bn merger will reportedly come under a full-scale probe by the antitrust regulators of the European Union (EU).
A comprehensive investigation by the European Commission will follow a preliminary review, which is slated to end on 21 December 2020, reported Reuters, citing two undisclosed sources having knowledge about the matter.
Usually, a full-scale probe by the EU takes nearly five months, said the publication.
The deal, which was signed in March 2020, has been under regulatory lens owing to concerns that the combined insurance brokerage could have increased pricing power.
As per the website of the EU competition enforcer, Aon did not offer concessions to address competition concerns by the deadline set in the preliminary phase.
If approved, the merger of Aon and Willis Towers Watson is expected to create the largest insurance broker in the world.
In August 2020, the merger deal secured approvals from the shareholders of the two firms. Shareholders of the two insurance brokerages also approved all of the proposals needed for finalising the combination of the two businesses.
At that time, the parties said that the deal is likely to be closed in the first half of next year, based on receipt of customary regulatory approvals and fulfilment of other closing conditions.
The all-stock deal will see Willis’s shareholders exchange each of their shares in the company with 1.08 of Aon’s shares. This gives Willis’s shareholders a 37% stake in the combined company, while existing shareholders of Aon will own a 63% stake.