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EU Steelmakers Cite Antitrust Concerns on Glencore-Xstrata

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- European steelmakers group Eurofer said it is concerned Glencore International Plc’s takeover of Xstrata Plc may harm competition in the zinc, nickel and coal markets.

Eurofer will gather data before deciding whether to file an antitrust complaint with the European Commission over the “competition implications of the merger,” Axel Eggert, Eurofer’s public affairs director in Brussels, said in an e-mail today.

Glencore, the world’s largest publicly traded commodities supplier, agreed last week to buy Xstrata. The world’s biggest mining deal may win antitrust approval because the EU said in 2006 that Glencore’s 34 percent stake in Xstrata means they are already a single group, according to analysts at Numis Corp. “Our concerns are with regard to the potential impact on the markets for zinc, nickel and coal,” Eggert said today on behalf of the group, which has members including the world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, and Germany’s largest steel producer ThyssenKrupp AG.

Xstrata is “confident” that combining with Glencore “will not result in any negative impact on competition in the commodity markets” the company said in an e-mail.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Scinta at cscinta@bloomberg.net

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