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EU regulators to decide on Bunge and Viterra’s $34 billion deal by July 18

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By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. grains merchant Bunge and Glencore-backed Viterra’s plan to create a $34 billion agricultural trading giant will be decided by EU antitrust regulators by July 18, a European Commission filing showed on Monday.

The companies announced their merger a year ago to rival global giants Archer-Daniels-Midland and Cargill.

The Commission, which acts as the EU competition enforcer, can either clear the deal with or without remedies after its preliminary review or it can open a four-month investigation if it has serious concerns.

Bunge Chief Executive Greg Heckman has said the company may be able to avoid having to sell assets to win regulatory approval thanks to healthy competition in commodities market in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, China and parts of Europe.

The Canadian competition watchdog, however, has cited major concerns while farm groups voiced similar worries.

The deal also needs the regulatory green light in North America, South America and China.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by David Goodman)

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