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Europeans Block Iron Giants’ Second Attempt To Combine

Posted  October 28, 2010

For the second time in as many years, antitrust enforcers have blocked a proposed deal between mining companies BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Ltd. to create the world’s largest iron-ore exporter.

The companies have announced that they will not proceed with a $10 billion joint venture of their ire ore operations in western Australia, due to objections from antitrust agencies in Australia, Germany, Japan, and Korea.  BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are two of the world’s three largest producers of iron ore.  The joint venture would have combined mining and transportation assets in the Pilbara region of Australia.

Germany and Japan led the charge against the joint venture.  Both Japan and Germany, announced on Oct. 14, 2010, that they would prohibit the joint venture.  Further, the European Union was planning to begin its own investigation of the joint venture.

In 2008, BHP sought to acquire Rio Tinto for $66 billion, but the EU blocked that deal as well.

Tagged in: Antitrust Enforcement, International Competition Issues,