The Swiss government-brokered sale of Credit Suisse to UBS won European Union approval after regulators said the deal wouldn’t raise any significant competition issues.
The European Commission cleared the merger on Thursday after a quick one-month review which showed competition wouldn’t be harmed “any of the markets examined” in wealth and asset management as well as investment banking.
“The combined entity will continue facing significant competitive pressure from a wide range of competitors in all of those markets,” it said in a statement.
UBS agreed in March to buy Credit Suisse in an all-share deal for about $3.25 billion (€3.03 billion) after intervention by the government to stave off a disorderly bankruptcy. EU clearance of the transaction was widely expected, given the risks posed to the financial markets.
The EU’s merger investigations cover the European Economic Area, of which Switzerland is not a member, so the commission would have had a harder time moving to oppose the deal.
The commission in April granted the banks a derogation from usual rules, which allowed them to implement the merger ahead of the review’s conclusion.
On announcement of the deal, UBS obtained pre-agreement from a range of regulatory authorities, such as the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, the Swiss National Bank and the Swiss Federal Department of Finance.
UBS and Credit Suisse declined to comment. – Bloomberg