European antitrust regulators are to investigate the acquisition of Group, the Belgian and Spain-based tin recycler, by on the basis that the merged entity “could hold a dominant position in the procurement of copper scrap for refining”, according to Reuters.

Metallo Group is one of the two leading copper scrap refiners in Europe – the other being Aurubis – and as a result, the commission will assess the merger to make sure that the combined entity would not “negatively affect competition” for copper scrap, EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

Aurubis agreed to purchase Metallo Group in May as part of a move to become a multi-metals recycler, with tin being highlighted as a key metal in Aurubis’ future portfolio. In a statement, Aurubis Chief Executive Roland Harings said that the company “remain confident that the EU competition authority will approve our application to acquire Metallo.”