THE EUROPEAN Commission has begun a full-scale investigation into plans by Air Liquide to take control of parts of BOC, the industrial gas company. The Commission, the European Union's antitrust watchdog, yesterday said it was concerned about the strong position Air Liquide would have in the markets for the supply of oxygen and nitrogen to industrial users and in helium and speciality gases used in the electronics industry. In-depth EU merger investigations, which last four months, usually result in deals having to be restructured. Air Liquide and US-based Air Products and Chemicals agreed in July to buy BOC for $11.2bn.
Brussels inquiry into BOC takeover