Omnicom, Publicis merge, forming biggest ad firm

Associated Press + More

PARIS (AP) — Omnicom Group Inc. and Publicis Groupe SA have announced they are combining in a "merger of equals" that will create the world's largest advertising firm, one worth more than $30 billion.

The combined company will be called Publicis Omnicom Group, and will be jointly led by Omnicom CEO John Wren and Publicis CEO Maurice Levy as co-chief executives.

The move will bolster the companies' focus on growing Asian and Latin American markets such as China and Brazil, where they each have ramped up operations to counter lackluster growth in weak European markets.

A combined firm will allow for more pricing power in general, though the decrease in competition could present regulatory hurdles in the U.S. and Europe.

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