Department of Justice to probe Mittal bid

The antitrust division of the US Department of Justice, has apparently initiated an investigation of Mittal Steel’s USD 23 billion hostile bid for Luxembourg-based Arcelor. Mr Alberto Gonzales’ DoJ will likely focus on assets Arcelor would acquire as a result of its pending deal to buy Canada’s Dofasco. On 8 February, the US Federal Trade Commission, which also casts its eye over deals on antitrust grounds, approved plans by Arcelor to acquire Dofasco, and took no regulatory action. Despite the proposed deal not involving substantial US assets, it is not inconceivable that the DoJ should investigate Mittal’s bid, since the US often claims jurisdiction over deals that involve large shipments into the country.

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