New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer on Thursday subpoenaed insurance broker Aon Corporation as part of an investigation into whether fees and commissions paid to brokers by insurance firms as an incentive to sell their products is a legitimate business practice. Two other insurers, Marsh & McClennan and Willis Group, also received subpoenas from Spitzer’s office.

Calling Spitzer’s probe a "preliminary inquiry," Aon said that it understands the state is also subpoenaing other insurance brokers on similar grounds. In its defense, the company asserted, "Such compensation agreements between insurance companies and brokers are a longstanding and common practice within the insurance industry." The New York-based company also said it fully discloses all fee arrangements on its Web site.

Chicago-based Aon, which has over 600 offices and 54,000 employees in 120 countries, said it would cooperate with Spitzer’s office.

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