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Publicis-Omnicom Review Would See EU-U.S. Dialog, Almunia Says

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Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Publicis Groupe SA’s merger with Omnicom Group Inc. would involve cooperation between European Union and U.S. merger-review authorities, Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s competition commissioner, said today.

Almunia said he expects EU-U.S. dialog on merger cases to continue in “the near future” on the transaction between New York-based Omnicom and Paris-based Publicis, “a deal that would create the world’s biggest advertising group.” The transaction hasn’t been notified yet to the EU authorities.

Chief executives of both companies said in July that they didn’t expect to face regulatory hurdles. If approved, the union of Publicis and Omnicom will overtake market leader WPP Plc, creating an advertising powerhouse with $35 billion in market value and about 41 percent of total spending by the top 10 media agencies in the world, according to data compiled by Advertising Age.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gaspard Sebag in Brussels at gsebag@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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