The European Union Commission’s Merger Task Force has written to Carlsberg stating that it is in agreement with Carlsberg’s position that the relevant national competition authorities ought to be responsible for the approval of Carlsberg A/S’ acquisition of Orkla’s brewing activities.Carlsberg and Orkla’s brewing activities will be gathered in a newly-created company, Carlsberg Breweries A/S. Carlsberg A/S will own 60 per cent and Orkla the remaining 40 per cent. As Carlsberg Breweries’ total turnover is below the ceilings given by the EU’s merger regulations, the Commission has decided that relevant national competition authorities are responsible for deciding the matter.It is satisfying for Carlsberg to be backed-up in our assumption that the deal is a case for the national authorities.Carlsberg is already in contact with competition authorities in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Lithuania, amongst others. Approval is expected before the end of the current year.

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