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Trump-nominated judge to hear U.S. fight to stop Aon's purchase of Willis Towers

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WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) - U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols, who joined the court in 2019, will hear the Justice Department's lawsuit aimed at stopping insurance broker Aon's $30 billion acquisition of Willis Towers Watson .

The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in hopes of blocking the deal, arguing that it would combine the second and third largest of the "Big Three" global insurance brokers and lead to higher prices.

Nichols, who was nominated by then-President Donald Trump, is a veteran of the Justice Department as well as such law firms as Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP and Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. He is a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

In December 2020, Nichols granted a preliminary injunction blocking the U.S. Commerce Department from imposing restrictions on Chinese-owned short video sharing app TikTok that would have effectively barred its use in the United States. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; editing by Jonathan Oatis)