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BRUSSELS, Oct 10 (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators opened an in-depth investigation on Monday into German cement producers HeidelbergCement and Schwenk's joint acquisition of Mexican peer Cemex's Croatian unit, saying the deal might hurt competition and lead to price hikes.
The German companies' joint subsidiary DDC is the largest importer in the area while Cemex Croatia is the biggest producer. The European Commission said the deal might hurt rivals and consumers.
"The Commission thus has preliminary concerns that the transaction may strengthen the market power of Cemex Croatia in southern Croatia and result in price increases for grey cement," the EU competition watchdog said.
The companies may have to offer concessions to allay the concerns. The Commission will decide on the deal by Feb. 23. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)