The European Commission has opened a detailed second phase investigation into the acquisition of Rio Tinto by BHP Billiton. Both companies are active in the mining and marketing of a wide range of metals and minerals. The Commission’s initial investigation has indicated that the transaction raises competition concerns, due to the overlapping activities of the two companies in a number of markets, particularly iron ore and metallurgical coal. According to the Commission, this might lead to higher prices and reduced choice for the merged entity’s customers. The provisional deadline for the Commission to reach a final decision is 11 November 2008.