The ACCC has suspended the ruling date for the planed merger of Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton’s Pilbara iron ore projects.
This increased delay allows the miners to make additional submissions, further highlighting the market view that the merger of these assets is receiving greater ACCC scrutiny than was expected, although the joint venture still hinges on the decision of the European Commission.
The ACCC had planned to release its findings on 22 July, but announced that it had suspended its decision at the request of Rio and BHP.
A ruling was originally scheduled to be passed in February, however repeated requests by BHP and Rio has seen the deadline continually pushed back.
The creation of the Pilbara joint venture iron ore project will make it one of the largest iron ore plays in the world, sparking concern internationally over Rio and BHP’s increased ability to control global iron ore prices.