PracticeAccounting FirmsEC likely to ‘call in’ Andersen merger

EC likely to 'call in' Andersen merger

A merger between Andersen and any other Big Five firm will almost certainly be reviewed by competition authorities at the European Commission, it has emerged.

The commission has authority to examine mergers where combined world-wideturnover exceeds ? ¬5bn (£3bn) and where European sales are more than ? ¬250m.

A merger between the UK operations of Deloitte and Andersen would create a firm worth £1.4bn and a global marriage would be worth £12.7bn – easily meeting the EC criteria.

However, the commission has so far taken no decision on whether to review apossible merger between Andersen and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, aspokeswoman for the competition commissioner Mario Monti told AccountancyAge.com, although its rules suggest that it would almost inevitably do so.

The latest news comes as speculation grew that KPMG had joined Deloittes and Ernst & Young in discussing the possibility of a merger with Andersen.

All the firms have so far refused comment though a source at Andersen revealed the speculation was not without foundation.

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