January 22, 2015 / 11:45 AM / 5 years ago

EU extends coffee merger deal review deadline to May 13

BRUSSELS, Jan 22 (Reuters) - European Union antitrust regulators have extended by one week a review of a plan by Mondelez International and D.E. Master Blenders 1753 to merge their coffee businesses.

The European Commission said it would decide by May 13 instead of May 6 whether to clear the deal. A preliminary review showed that the merger might reduce competition in roast and ground coffee as well as filter pads in Austria, France, Denmark and Latvia.

The EU competition watchdog rejected earlier concessions offered by the two companies. The Commission may approve the deal or demand more substantial concessions.

The deal would bring together Mondelez’s coffee brands such as Carte Noire and Tassimo, and D.E. Master Blenders’ L’OR, Pilao and Senseo brands.

The Senseo and Tassimo systems compete with Nestle’s Nespresso and Dolce Gusto. D.E. Master Blenders is owned by German investor Joh A Benckiser. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by John Stonestreet)

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