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EU: Antitrust probe into $7 billion Ball-Rexam deal opened

 |  July 20, 2015

European Union antitrust regulators have opened an in-depth investigation into whether U.S. drinks can maker Ball Corp’s $7 billion offer for Britain’s Rexam Plc will lead to higher prices for companies and consumers.

The deal, announced in February, would combine the world’s two largest beverage can makers by volume, controlling just over a fifth of the global market and serving clients such as Coca-Cola Co and Anheuser-Busch InBev SA.

But the European Commission said on Monday it had concerns the combination would likely result in price increases for businesses and therefore consumers.

“Very many of us buy drinks in cans … it is therefore very important that the Commission makes sure that Ball’s takeover of Rexam does not restrict effective competition and so risk price increases that could be passed on to consumers,” Margrethe Vestager, EU Competition Commissioner, said in a statement.

The Commission will now decide by Nov. 25 whether to clear the deal.

Full content: The Financial Times

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