Aon, Hewitt deal wins EU regulatory approval

By Reuters
Posted Sep. 28, 2010 at 7:45 a.m.

U.S. insurance brokerage Aon Corp. won European Union regulatory approval on Tuesday to purchase Hewitt Associates, creating the world’s largest human resources services company. Aon, the world’s largest insurance brokerage, launched the $4.9 billion bid for Hewitt in July. The transaction was referred to the European Commission, the EU’s competition authority, in August.

“The Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European economic area,” it said in a statement.

While the companies overlap in areas such as retirement benefits consulting and investment consulting for pension funds, it was not deemed overly restrictive to competition.

“The Commission found that competition concerns could be excluded in these markets, since the market shares of the combined firm would be modest post-transaction, and a sufficient number of credible competitiors would remain.”

The deal is part of a trend of consolidation in HR services in recent years as companies seek to cut costs in a tough economic environment and boost their global reach, especially in emerging markets.

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