Kirin Holdings and Suntory Holdings have formally submitted a merger deal to Japan's competition watchdog, according to a report.

The companies have filed the deal with the Fair Trade Commission, according to a Dow Jones report today (15 September).

Neither company could be immediately reached to confirm the move.

In July, Kirin and Suntory confirmed that they were in talks to merge. A deal would give them more than a 50% of Japan's beer market, enabling them to consolidate resources in the country's stagnant beer sector in order to concentrate on overseas expansion.

"The FTC is more than likely to approve such a deal as the Government has already voiced its support," a JP Morgan Japan analyst told just-drinks in July. "Japan wants a large, strong and robust company like this to compete effectively in the global marketplace."