Danish gas group DONG expects the European Commission use the full timeframe for its appraisal of the proposed merger between DONG, Elsam, ENERGI E2, Copenhagen Energy (electricity) and Frederiksberg Forsyning.

The company is anticipating that the Commission will express competition concerns over the merged group. But the Commission is nonetheless expected to announce its final decision in the first quarter of 2006.

Anders Eldrup, President of DONG, said : “We expect clearance to be granted in the first quarter of 2006. We are pleased that the matter is being considered in great detail, leaving no stone unturned.”