BRUSSELS, March 26 EU antitrust regulators are
investigating a bid by Swedish refiner Nynas to acquire most
units of Royal Dutch Shell's Harburg refinery,
concerned that the combined entity may have too dominant a
position in three products.
The European Commission, which acts as the competition
watchdog in the 27-country European Union, said it was worried
there would be reduced or no competition in the markets for
naphthenic base oils, naphthenic process oils and transformer
It said the merged company would be the only producer of
naphthenic base oils in Europe. These oils are used to produce
industrial greases, metalworking fluids, adhesives, inks,
insoluble sulphur, industrial rubber and fertilisers.
"The proposed merger would remove the only competing
producer of naphthenic base oils in the European Economic Area,"
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.
"The Commission needs to make sure that it would not raise
production costs for European companies as well as prices for
the customers of the various end products," he said.
The EU competition watchdog set an Aug. 8 deadline for its
decision on the deal. The companies unveiled the deal in 2011.