PW-Coopers merger cleared

PRICE WATERHOUSE and Coopers & Lybrand yesterday received final European Union clearance for their merger, which will create the world's biggest accounting firm. The European Commission approved the merger after concluding the combined company would not squeeze smaller competitors out of Europe's accounting and consulting markets. Price Waterhouse and Coopers, currently the number six and number four global accounting firms, won't have more than 40 per cent of any EU market for auditing and accounting, company executives said.

The Commission has said that the collapse of the proposed merger of accounting giants Ernst & Young and KPMG Peat Marwick in February cleared the way for approval because it increased the number of companies competing for European market share. -Bloomberg

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