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The White House says the scrapped Aon-Willis agreement shows "robust enforcement"



(Reuters) – The White House on Tuesday praised the Justice Department's successful effort to stop a $ 30 billion deal that would have created the world's largest insurance broker, saying the agency's work was "robust enforcement of antitrust laws." [19659002] Aon PLC and Willis Towers Watson PLC suspended their merger on Monday, saying US regulators' objections created unacceptable delays and uncertainty. The Ministry of Justice had filed a lawsuit to stop it.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki praised the Justice Department, saying its effort was "what the president was talking about when he called for a more forceful application of antitrust laws." [1

9659002] President Joe Biden has been more interested in antitrust than most presidents and has appointed a progressive antitrust expert to work in the White House and others as head of the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department & # 39 ;s Antitrust Division.

He also signed a comprehensive competition head to urge authorities to crack down on anti-competitive practices in sectors ranging from agriculture to pharmaceuticals and labor.

Rising prices have affected areas as diverse as timber, labor, gasoline and fast food, a politically sensitive issue for an administration trying to construct a recovery from the COVID-19 recession. It has positioned antitrust policy as a tool to curb inflation.

Aon declined to comment on Psaki's statements, citing an earlier statement saying the Ministry of Justice's challenge was "contrary" to antitrust officials elsewhere. "The DOJ's perspective shows a misunderstanding in the market and our combination was blocked by bad timing and factors that are ultimately beyond our control," the company said in a public statement this week.

For his part, Psaki said the deal would have raised prices for many U.S. companies that hire brokers for insurance and benefit packages. "The higher insurance costs would ultimately have made Americans pay more for all kinds of products and services," she said.


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