* EU Commission says no competition concerns
* Says no conditions required
* $55 bln deal is one of the biggest in the sector
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, March 8 Russian oil producer Rosneft
moved closer to finalising its $55 billion takeover of
TNK-BP <TNBP.MM after winning EU regulatory approval for one of
the biggest deals in the sector.
State-owned Rosneft is buying TNK-BP from private Russian
group AAR and British oil company BP in two separate
deals that will help it leapfrog world No. 1 Exxon Mobil
Reuters last week reported the European Commission was
expected to give unconditional approval.
The EU antitrust authority said in a statement that its
investigation did not find any competition concerns.
"The merged entity would continue to face constraints from a
number of strong competitors, while its customers would be
capable of switching both to other suppliers as well as to other
means of transportation for their crude oil demands," it said.
The EU executive said it had also examined Rosneft's state
ownership status to see if it was an independent operator or
whether there was scope for Russia to coordinate the behaviour
of state-owned companies in the sector.
"This question was ultimately left open as the proposed
acquisition did not give rise to competition concerns," it said.