What Does Failed Aon/WTW Deal Mean for Health Benefits?

An announced acquisition of Willis Towers Watson PLC (WTW) by fellow insurance broker Aon PLC fell apart after the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) sued to block the transaction due to antitrust concerns. Experts say that the collapse of the deal — which would have created the world’s largest insurance broker — is proof of the Biden administration’s commitment to undoing consolidation, and they say WTW will likely reimagine its business, perhaps by acquiring smaller players.

“Despite regulatory momentum around the world, including the recent approval of our combination by the European Commission, we reached an impasse with the U.S. Department of Justice,” said Aon CEO Greg Case in a July 26 press release. “The DOJ position overlooks that our complementary businesses operate across broad, competitive areas of the economy. We are confident that the combination would have accelerated our shared ability to innovate on behalf of clients, but the inability to secure an expedited resolution of the litigation brought us to this point.”

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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