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Two of the world's largest insurance brokers, Aon and Willis Towers Watson, announced Monday that they had called off a planned $30 billion merger, just a little more than a month after the Department of Justice sued to block the union, in a victory for the White House.

The DOJ's case against the proposed merger was the first big trustbusting move by the Biden administration, which has signaled a willingness to be tough on corporate consolidation.

This case is arguably the first antitrust win for President Joe Biden, who named Jonathan Kanter last week to run the DOJ's antitrust division. Kanter has spent much of his career fighting Big Tech on behalf of smaller companies.

On Monday, Aon and Willis Towers Watson said they decided to end the Justice Department's litigation and move forward independently.

"We reached an impasse with the U.S. Department of Justice," Aon's CEO, Greg Case, said in a statement.

The agreement, first proposed in March 2020, faced scrutiny from regulators around the world. Some, including officials in the European Union, granted conditional approval based on various concessions and divestments.

The DOJ lawsuit was not scheduled to head to trial until at least November, which would have delayed the deal until the first quarter of 2022 at the earliest and was untenable for Aon, a company spokesman told The New York Times.

With the merger terminated, a slew of contingent deals will be called off, too. Some of the regulatory approvals that the combined companies received, for example in South Africa and the European Union, were dependent on Aon and Willis getting rid of some business units.

Aon said it would pay a $1 billion termination fee to Willis Towers Watson.

Both companies are incorporated in Ireland and have headquarters in London. Aon, which reported revenue of more than $11 billion last year, has around 50,000 employees around the world and more than 100 offices in the United States. Willis Towers Watson employs about 45,000 people globally, with more than 80 offices in the United States. It reported revenue of more than $9 billion in 2020.

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