Opinion – Deal’s on, Touche wood

If the EC decides that the deal poses no competition concerns – in truth if it decides it has no other option but to allow the deal to go ahead – we should expect integration to begin straight away. It is likely to be a swift, though not necessarily painless, amalgamation.

If, on the other hand the EC decides to launch a probe, all bets are off. More Andersen staff and partners could seek alternative homes and Deloitte may decide that the risks (and costs) of a fight outweigh the potential benefits.

Deloitte notified the commission of its intentions at the end of May.

The commission has a calendar month after notification either to clear it or start a detailed, four-month probe – though it can extend that for two weeks under certain circumstances.

Deloitte UK chief executive John Connolly has already expressed confidence that the deal between his firm and partners at Andersen will not meet any regulatory obstacles.

We will soon know whether that confidence is well-founded.

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