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Reuters (NSDQ: RTRSY) and Thomson (NYSE: TOC) seem confident they have been given the go-ahead to merge in the next couple of months on both sides of the Atlantic. The US Department of Justice was due to give its verdict on the information providers’ £8.2 billion amalgamation by Tuesday, but the pair said it would now align its announcement to time with the European Commission’s verdict, due March 10.
It looks like it will be a positive – in a joint statement, they said they have “had productive discussions with the Department of Justice and the European Commission” and “have a high degree of confidence that the acquisition will receive clearance on an expedited timetable”. And they are pressing ahead with integration plans. The EC’s initial investigation saw problems with the combination because both companies supply data feeds to traders, control news services and have access to broker research reports as well as financial information databases that they sell to their customers.
The EC begun a more intense, Phase 2 review of the proposed merger in October to examine possible antitrust concerns more closely. But the pair have steadfastly denied any threat, confidently expecting approval throughout. Thomson and Reuters had expected that to complete by Q1, but now reckon it will finish by Q2.