Thomson/Reuters merger rulings expected in spring

International news agency Reuters and Canadian publisher Thomson have said this morning that they are confident the proposed merger of the two companies will be given the green light by competition authorities in the second quarter of this year.

In a regulatory update this morning, the two companies said they had held “productive discussions” with both the US Department of Justice and the European Commission, which are both carrying out reviews into the impact of the proposed tie-up.

Thomson and Reuters have agreed with the Department of Justice for its review to be more closely aligned with that being carried by the EC. As a result, the results of both investigations are expected at approximately the same time.

“Thomson and Reuters have had productive discussions with the DOJ and EC,” the two companies said in a joint statement this morning. “Given the highly complementary nature of their businesses, the two companies have a high degree of confidence that the acquisition will receive clearance on an expedited timetable.”

Behind-the-scenes planning work on integrating the two operations is proceeding as expected, the companies said. The transaction is expected to be rubber-stamped early in the second quarter of 2008.

Canadian media giant Thomson approached Reuters in May last year with a 691p per share offer for the company, which values Reuters at £8.7bn.

In November, Reuters chief executive Tom Glocer said he was pleased with the progress being made with the planned merger

The merger would give Thomson a bigger stake in a market currently dominated by Reuters and Bloomberg.

All three provide financial information to banks, fund managers, corporate groups, wealth managers and traders, as well as trading news for their customers.

Reuters is best known as one of the largest international news agencies and Toronto-based Thomson specialises in legal, fiscal, accounting and scientific research markets.

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