OFT ‘wait and see’ on Andersen merger

While other organisations expressed concerns about the deal, the OFT said it had not been formally contacted by the firms and was waiting to see whether it would be referred to European authorities. Acting on the OFT’s advice, the DTI would have to rule on the merger within four months of the deal’s announcement.

But Andersen senior partner John Ormerod was confident regulators would not block the deal. ‘We have been in discussions with the relevant regulatory bodies and will continue to be. These talks have been going on since our initial discussions with KPMG began.’

The Financial Services Authority has said it would have serious concerns over the merger. A spokesman said: ‘We do have concerns if you have a Big Four – it would be damaging to competition and, perhaps more importantly, for choice of global accounting firms.’

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