European Commission pushes back deadline for Aon/WTW merger decision to July

European commission

The European Commission has pushed back the deadline for its decision on whether or not to approve the Aon’s acquisition of Willis Towers Watson, after the broker submitted new commitments.

An in-depth review into the $30bn (£22bn) merger was opened in December, with a decision initially due to be made by 10 May.

That deadline has now been shifted to 12 July, following Aon’s submission of a package of commitments on Friday. Details of the commitments made by Aon were not disclosed. Aon declined to comment and WTW did not respond to a request for comment.

When the commission open its more in-depth Part II investigation of the merger last December, Aon described it as a “common next step” for a deal of its size, and said it was “confident of a positive outcome without any divestitures.”

The merger, which was announced in March 2020 and would make Aon the world’s largest insurance broker by revenue, needs to secure regulatory clearance in almost 100 jurisdictions

In July, the US Department of Justice sought more information on the deal, and experts have speculated that the deal could also draw the attention of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority.

While the deal gained shareholder approval in August, it has not been without criticism. The brokers have decried five “purported” shareholder lawsuits as “without merit”, while the UK’s risk management association Airmic has cautioned that the merger will lead to a dearth of choice.

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