EU regulators to investigate Munksjo, Ahlstrom unit merger
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators opened an investigation on Friday into the proposed merger of Finnish paper producer Ahlstrom (AHL1V.HE) and a unit of Swedish company Munksjo, worried that the new entity would have too much market power.
Ahlstrom said in April it would spin off its label and processing business unit which would then combine with privately-held Munksjo. Private equity firm EQT is the biggest owner of Sweden's Munksjo.
The European Commission said a preliminary investigation indicated potential competition concerns in the markets of pre-impregnated paper and abrasive paper backings as the merged company would dominate both European and global markets.
"This proposed merger in the paper industry would remove a competitor from some markets which are already highly concentrated," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.
The EU competition authority will decide by April 29 whether to approve the deal.
NEW YORK - U.S. stocks fell in afternoon trading on Tuesday after swinging between gains and losses for most of the session as the lack of major corporate earnings or market-affecting data kept trading directionless.
- U.S. small businesses borrowed more money in January than they did a year earlier, signaling continued growth in the economy despite a spate of cold weather that has been blamed for weakness in many other indicators of activity.
BEIJING/HONG KONG - China reiterated its opposition on Thursday to a European Union plan to limit airline carbon dioxide emissions and called for talks to resolve the issue a day after its major airlines refused to pay any carbon costs under the new law.