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    EU regulators to decide on Philip Morris, Swedish Match deal by Oct. 11

    European Union antitrust regulators have set Oct. 11 as a deadline for their preliminary review of Philip Morris International’s $16 billion (£14bn) bid for tobacco and nicotine products maker Swedish Match, a European Commission filing showed on Tuesday.

    Philip Morris announced the proposed takeover in May that would cut its dependence on cigarettes and boost its presence in the fast-growing market for cigarette alternatives.

    The EU competition enforcer can clear the deal with or without remedies at the end of its scrutiny or it can open a four-month-long investigation if it has serious concerns.

    Stockholm-based Swedish Match derives more than 65 percent of its revenue from smoke-free products, including chewing tobacco and the Zyn brand of nicotine pouches. The company is also known for making cigars and “snus”, a form of snuff particular to Nordic countries.

    Philip Morris announced in 2016 a long-term goal to stop selling cigarettes and replace them with alternatives that it says are less harmful.

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