CNNMoney: The European Commission is expected to approve personal navigation device manufacturer TomTom NV’s proposed acquisition of map maker Tele Atlas NV and open an in-depth inquiry into Finnish mobile telecoms group Nokia Oyj’s planned buy of digital map maker Navteq Corp.
A legal source told Thomson Financial News that the TomTom/Tele Atlas deal should be cleared on or before the deadline of May 5, even though there are ‘clearly vertical competition concerns’.
The commission opened an in-depth inquiry into the deal in November after its initial market investigation indicated that the proposed merger raised serious doubts with regard to vertical competition concerns. Since then, the commission extended the deadline for the inquiry at the parties’ request.
‘This seems to be a concentrated market at upstream level and access to data will be a key issue in terms of remedies,’ the source said.
‘The commission obviously has suggested serious concerns (about the deal) but they should be addressable through making data available to third parties.’
The source said the key factor in negotiations over potential remedies will be assessing how to preserve the companies’ value.