BRUSSELS (Reuters) -European Union antitrust regulators will decide by Nov. 30 whether to clear French media company Vivendi's proposed acquisition of French peer Lagardere, a European Commission filing showed on Tuesday.
Vivendi put in a request for EU approval on Monday, according to the bloc's competition enforcer.
The deal, which would combine France's two biggest publishing groups, Lagardere's Hachette and Vivendi's Editis, has already drawn criticism from French independent publishers, including its most famous one, Gallimard.
The Commission can clear the deal with or without remedies after its preliminary review, or it can open a four-month long investigation if it has serious concerns.
Vivendi's top investor, billionaire Vincent Bollore, is considering selling Editis to allay possible EU antitrust concerns.
"(The sale) would be primarily carried out by distributing Editis shares to Vivendi's shareholders and simultaneously having the shares admitted to trading on the Euronext Paris stock exchange," Vivendi said in statement on Tuesday.
Bollore's eponymous group would sell all the Editis shares it would receive as a result of this distribution, Vivendi added.
The acquisition means Vivendi, which owns pay TV group Canal+ and right-leaning news channel CNEWS, will take control of Lagardere's flagship magazine Paris Match, the weekly newspaper Journal du Dimanche and radio station Europe 1.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Additional reporting by Mathieu Rosemain;Editing by Mike Harrison, Kirsten donovan)