November 25 - The European Commission has approved the merger between Hapag-Lloyd and UASC - subject to certain conditions, including the latter withdrawing from the North Atlantic trade.
The merger will make the new entity the fifth-largest ocean carrier.
An EC statement said: "The clearance is conditional on the withdrawal of UASC from a consortium on the trade routes between Northern Europe and North America, where the merged entity would have faced insufficient competitive constraint."
EC Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager added: "European companies rely on container liner shipping services for their transatlantic shipments. It's very important that the markets remain open."
The EC also said that the transaction creates limited vertical links between the companies' activities in container liner shipping services and the following services, where Hapag-Lloyd or its controlling shareholders are active: container terminals; inland transportation; freight forwarding, and harbour towage.
However, the Commission added that it found no competition concerns in these areas, in particular because several other service providers are active in these markets.