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European Commission extends deadline for Cemex-Holcim decision

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World Cement,

Reuters is reporting that antitrust regulators have extended the deadline for a decision on Cemex’s proposed acquisition of Holcim Spain. Having opened an in-depth investigation into the proposal in April, reports surfaced two weeks ago that the European Commission objected to the deal. There is no mention of this on the European Commission website, which simply states that the original deadline of 5th September has been extended to 12th September. However, it has been suggested that objections are based on the impact on competition in the grey cement market in parts of Spain.

In the original press release disclosing that the investigation had been opened, the European Commission stated:

The Commission has the duty to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds (…) and to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.

The vast majority of notified mergers do not pose competition problems and are cleared after a routine review. From the moment a transaction is notified, the Commission generally has a total of 25 working days to decide whether to grant approval (phase I) or to start an in-depth investigation (phase II).

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