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EU Pauses Orange & Norsk Hydro M&A Probe

 |  October 26, 2022

EU antitrust regulators have paused investigations into French telecoms provider Orange’s bid for a majority stake in Belgian peer VOO SA and Norsk Hydro’s proposed acquisition of Alumetal while awaiting their data.

The European Commission suspended the Orange investigation on Wednesday and examination of Norwegian metals maker Norsk Hydro’s Polish recycler bid on Tuesday.

“This procedure in merger investigations is activated if the parties fail to provide, in a timely fashion, an important piece of information that the Commission has requested,” a Commission spokesperson said.

Related: EU Opens Probe Into Orange’s Telecom Belgian Deal

“Once the missing information is supplied by the parties, the clock is re-started and the deadline for the Commission’s decision is then adjusted accordingly.”

The EU competition enforcer opened a full-scale investigation into Orange’s VOO bid in July, warning that the deal could reduce competition in the southern region of Belgium.

This month the Commission kicked off its investigation into Norsk Hydro’s deal, warning that the takeover could eliminate a growing rival able to bring cheaper and advanced recycled aluminium products to the market.