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Giant Ad Agency Merger Deal Gets Called Off

A deal that would have created the largest ad agency and media buying company has collapsed, the companies announced Thursday.

Omnicom and Publicis Groupe said they have terminated their proposed merger by mutual agreement in view of difficulties in completing the transaction within a reasonable timeframe. The parties have released each other from all obligations with respect to the proposed transaction, and no termination fees will be payable by either party.

In a joint statement, Maurice Lévy, chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, and John Wren, president and CEO of Omnicom Group, said: "The challenges that still remained to be overcome, in addition to the slow pace of progress, created a level of uncertainty detrimental to the interests of both groups and their employees, clients and shareholders. We have thus jointly decided to proceed along our independent paths. We, of course, remain competitors, but maintain a great respect for one another."