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EU Clears D&T To Acquire Accounts

July 1, 2002

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BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ European Union antitrust regulators cleared the proposed acquisition of most of embattled accounting firm Andersen Worldwide’s business in Britain by British-based Deloitte & Touche.

The European Commission said it concluded that the disappearance of Anderson’s operations in Britain ``was inevitable″ given the problems facing its U.S. parent.

A number of Anderson’s customers in Britain also argued in favor of the acquisition by Deloitte & Touche as ``preferable to the disorderly disappearance of the U.K. Andersen partnership,″ it said.

Given that Andersen and Deloitte & Touche, part of the global audit and accounting firm Deloitte Touche Tohumatsu, were the smallest of the Big Five accounting firms in Britain, the commission said it found ``there was no danger of a creation of a single dominant position.″

Anderson on its own, or allied with a second-tier British firm, would not be able to offer a global network of services. ``Therefore, and as far as large, quoted clients are concerned, a reduction to four was inevitable and would have occurred whether Andersen U.K. was taken over or simply disintegrated,″ it concluded.

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