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EU launches extensive probe into Staples' bid for Office Depot

A hold put on office supply chains merger

European Union antitrust regulators opened on Friday an extensive investigation into U.S. office supplier Staples' $6.3 billion bid for rival Office Depot, concerned about price hikes as a result of the deal.

"The transaction could eliminate an important competitor and reduce the choice of suitable suppliers in already concentrated markets, which could lead to price increases," the European Commission said.

It will decide by February 10 whether to clear or block the deal.

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