Australia won't get in the way of Glencore-Xstrata

Australia's antitrust regulator has decided it will not oppose Glencore's $26 billion takeover of miner Xstrata.

After a 47-day review, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) concluded the proposed acquisition was unlikely to give the merged group too much market power on Australian and global markets.

"The ACCC did not consider that there was a likelihood of anti-competitive effects arising from the vertical integration of Xstrata's mining and production activities with Glencore's extensive third-party trading activities," the organization said in a statement published on its website.

The two companies are spending a combined $200 million on advisers and legal counsel to push the deal through and a collapse would be a blow to a long list of bankers, including: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank.

Apart from shareholders blocking the deal, the European Union is stepping up scrutiny of the mooted merger after steelmakers and other European players "raised fears that the deal could create too powerful a player" in the market for zinc, nickel and coal.

Xstrata said it expects formal notification of the transaction from the European Commission to take place in mid to late August. The July 12 meeting to vote on the deal has been pushed back to October.

With revenues in excess of $200 billion Glenstrata, as it has been dubbed, would become the 4th largest miner on the planet with Xstrata's current management responsible for over 80% of the combined group's earnings, 150 mining and metallurgical assets and 20 major growth projects.