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European steel group opposes Rio/BHPB joint venture

European steel group

The European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries (Eurofer) has said that a joint venture between Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton to consolidate Australian iron-ore assets is fundamentally against the interests of the steel industry.

The group has requested the European Commission to exercise its jurisdiction of the transaction and "carefully investigate its impact on free competition".

Rio Tinto and BHPB plan to combine their Pilbara operations to reduce costs, but will continue to market their products independently.

The companies had proposed to jointly market up to 15% of production together but dropped the plan to avoid anti-competitive behaviour allegations.
 
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