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Glencore, Xstrata merger approved by EU

The Glencore logo is seen on March 3, 2010 at the Swiss commodities giant's headquarters in Baar.

While you were eating that turkey, two giant companies were inching ever closer to a $33 billion marriage. Glencore, a Swiss commodities trading firm, is trying to take over a mining company called Xstrata. And the deal just got a stamp of approval from European regulators.

Glencore trades everything from oil and coal to wheat and corn. It also manages copper and zinc, giving it a role in the car industry, consumer electronics and appliances.

Glencore once owned the mining company Xstrata. After Xstrata grew more profitable as an independent company, Glencore once again wanted to own it, and began to plan a takeover.

The merger without a doubt would change the mining business as a whole, but whether this will bring lower prices to consumers is unclear.

"I don't think that would be their prime objective," says Rupert Nathan, a mining analyst. "Whether prices do fall, I think that would be incidental. The objective would be ramp up revenues in order to reduce costs and increase profits."

The combined group is likely to seek out more takeover targets in the future, and could challenge the dominance of the world's top three mining companies.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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