EU antitrust regulators halt Aon, Willis probe, await data

February 9, 2021 1:41 PM EST

FILE PHOTO: An office building with Aon logo is seen amidst the easing of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in the Central Business District of Sydney, Australia, June 3, 2020. Picture taken June 3, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators have suspended their investigation into Aon's $30 billion bid for Willis Towers Watson while they wait for the U.S. insurance broker to provide data required for the case.

The European Commission, which kicked off its probe in December because of concerns the deal to create the world's largest insurance broker may hurt competition in major markets, said it stopped the clock on Monday.

"This procedure in merger investigations is activated if the parties fail to provide, in a timely fashion, an important piece of information that the Commission has requested from them," a spokeswoman for the EU competition enforcer said.

"Once the missing information is supplied by the parties, the clock is re-started and the deadline for the Commission's decision is then adjusted accordingly," she said.

Aon declined to comment.

The previous deadline for the EU decision on the deal was May 10. The EU investigation was launched after Aon declined to provide concessions during the Commission's preliminary review.

The merged company would leapfrog current global leader Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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