EU Antitrust Regulator Suspends Dow-DuPont Merger Review -- Update

BRUSSELS--The European Union's antitrust regulator on Friday said it had suspended its deadline for a review into the proposed merger of Dow Chemical Co. and DuPont Co. because the companies hadn't submitted important information demanded of them.

"The commission has stopped the clock in its in-depth investigation into the proposed merger between Dow and DuPont," said European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso. "To comply with merger deadlines, parties must supply the necessary information for the investigation in a timely fashion."

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The suspension will probably delay the EU's investigation, throwing a wrench into the companies' previous plans to close the transaction before the end of the year.

The firms last week said it was possible the deal's closing date could move to early 2017 after the commission set Jan. 11 as its most recent deadline for the review. Extensions to EU merger reviews are common.

Spokespeople at Dow and DuPont said Friday's announcement didn't change the companies' timing expectations on the deal's closing.

"This is a routine procedural part of the European Commission process," a Dow spokeswoman said.

The EU in August opened an in-depth probe into the merger on concerns the combination may reduce competition in crop protection, seeds and certain petrochemicals.

The proposed merger, disclosed in December, would unite the two companies with a combined market capitalization of roughly $122 billion, before splitting into three separate companies. Dow and DuPont in July privately outlined concessions to EU authorities to address antitrust concerns in the bloc.

Once the companies submit the requested information, the commission will then restart the clock on its merger review.

Write to Natalia Drozdiak at