THE EUROPEAN Commission today told Accountancy Age that it is "fairly certain" to investigate the proposed merger between Andersen's non-US operations and KPMG and warned that its competition authority could well insist that the accounting giants sell off some of their European operations as a condition of clearing the deal.

He noted that in 1998 the Commission effectively blocked a deal between KPMG and Ernst and Young that would have reduced the number of world-wide accountancy firms from five to four and "the Commission's attitude ...

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