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EU ends suspension of OMV/MOL merger review

The European Commission said on Monday it was restarting its in-depth investigation of plans by Austrian oil and gas group OMV to take over Hungarian peer MOL.

The new deadline for the review by the European Union’s top competition regulator is Sept. 18. The Commission had stopped the clock on May 5 as it needed additional information from OMV. The Commission gives itself 90 working days to conduct in-depth reviews, which can be extended in special circumstances for limited periods. It had extended its deadline for reviewing the competition implications of the deal to July 22.

OMV owns 20.2% of MOL and wants to buy the rest. The Hungarian company has resisted the bid, which valued MOL at $20.7 billion, not including debt. (Reuters)

 
LEX MOL COULD BE AMENDED TO SATISFY BRUSSELS

The government could soon propose amendments to legislation passed last autumn giving strategic companies special powers to fend off hostile takeovers in order to satisfy the European Commission, Finance Minister János Veres said on Friday, answering a question.

Veres declined to offer any further details on the changes. The Commission said in February it could take Hungary to court over the law -- dubbed lex MOL, because it gives Hungarian oil and gas company ammunition against unwanted advances by OMV. The Commission asked for a response to a query on the law and said it would decide whether or not to take Hungary to court based on its evaluation of the response. (MTI-Econews)