A question mark has been raised over proposed merger between Suez and Gaz de France after the European Commission issued a Statement of Objections as part of its preliminary investigation.

The Commission identified a number of potential competition concerns resulting from the merger, including gas and electricity markets in Belgium and gas and district heating markets in France.

The objection sets out the provisional position of the Commission and does not prejudge the final outcome of the case.

The decision comes as the Commission opens an in-depth investigation into the planned acquisition of the pulp and power business of Norway’s Aker Kvaerner by Finland’s Metso Corp.

The Commission’s initial market investigation has found that the proposed acquisition may create competition problems in the markets for pulp mill equipment.

The Commission now has until 20 December to take a final decision.

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