European regulators on Friday gave conditional approval to Aon PLC's acquisition of rival broker Willis Tower Watson PLC, but the deal still faces major obstacles in the US where an antitrust lawsuit over the transaction is scheduled for November.
The European Commission's approval is conditional on Aon completing its previously announced deal to sell various Willis assets to minor rival Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. and commercial risk mediation and "improve their footprint" in Europe, says a statement from the European Commission.
"The package of measures accepted by the Commission ensures that European companies, including insurance companies and large multinational clients, will continue to have a good choice and good services when choosing a broker that suits their needs," says Commissioner Margrethe Vestager's Executive Vice President
European regulators launched a full-scale investigation into the deal in December 2020. The acquisition, announced in March 2020, would potentially reduce competition for brokerage services in several key areas, the study found, including commercial risk brokerage services. to large multinational companies based in Europe, reinsurance brokers and the provision of pension administration services in Germany. ill Gallagher, Aon agreed to sell various German pension and investment consulting firms to the London-based consulting firm Lane Clark & Peacock LLP.
Antitrust regulators in the United States, however, have significant objections to the deal and brought an action against Aon and Willis last month. The Ministry of Justice's lawsuit identified several areas of competition problems, including the provision of health benefit plans and coverage of property / accident to large customers.
The trial is scheduled to begin proceedings November 1