Deutsche Bank AG submitted its planned $10.1 billion purchase of Bankers Trust Corp. for European Union review, a first step toward EU approval of a plan to form the world's biggest financial services company.
The European Commission, the EU's executive agency, has until April 22 to decide whether the purchase would give Germany's biggest bank an excessive share of EU markets. EU regulators can extend their review by up to four more months if they identify serious antitrust concerns.
EU antitrust chief Karel Van Miert has waved through recent banking mergers-including Travelers Group Inc.'s purchase of Citicorp last year and Deutsche Bank's acquisition of Credit Lyonnais' Belgian unit last month-and has said there's room for further consolidation in the EU banking industry.
Deutsche Bank, which also needs approval from U.S. regulators before going ahead with the acquisition, has said it expects to complete the transaction by April or May.