BRUSSELS, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Media group Vivendi's
proposed acquisition of rival Lagardere is
likely to face a full-scale EU antitrust investigation, people
close to the matter said on Tuesday.
The proposed deal would combine France's two biggest
publishing groups, Lagardere's Hachette and Vivendi's Editis,
and has come in for criticism from rivals including renowned
To resolve EU antitrust concerns, Vivendi's top investor -
billionaire Vincent Bollore - would sell all Editis shares he
would receive after the transaction, which would consist of a
simultaneous distribution of the publishing unit's shares to
Vivendi shareholders and its listing.
The European Commission is expected to launch an in-depth
investigation after finishing its preliminary review of the deal
on Nov. 30, the sources said.
The EU competition enforcer and Vivendi declined to comment.
Bollore is Vivendi's controlling shareholder with a 29%
stake. The mass media holding company already owns 57% of
Lagardere after a bid for all of the group's shares.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, additional reporting by Mathieu
Rosemain in Paris; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and David Goodman)