BRUSSELS/MILAN (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler <FCHA.MI> and Peugeot maker PSA <PEUP.PA> face a lengthy EU antitrust investigation after declining to offer concessions to allay EU antitrust concerns about their planned $50 billion merger, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Fiat and PSA, which are seeking to create the world’s fourth-biggest carmaker, were told last week that their combined high market share in small vans was a worry for competition enforcers, other people familiar with the matter had told Reuters.
The companies had until Wednesday to put in concessions but did not do so, the sources said. That will automatically trigger a four-month-long investigation by the European Commission when it completes its preliminary review on June 17.
The EU competition enforcer, Fiat Chrysler and PSA declined to comment.
“It is a huge and complicate deal, we know how things work and so we knew that a full probe was an option. Which by the way would not cause any delay to the time frame we face for the merger,” one of the sources said.
Another source said if EU regulators have any concerns, they should list them. The companies expect to finalise the deal in the first quarter of 2021.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, Giulio Piovaccari in Milan and Gilles Guillaume in Paris; Editing by Chris Reese and Matthew Lewis)