( dpa ) - The European Commission on Friday opened an in- depth investigation into the proposed acquisition by Finland's Nokia of Navteq, a navigable digital maps producer based in the United States.
The European Union's executive wants to ascertain whether the proposed merger, worth 8.1 billion dollars, violates EU competition rules.
In a statement, the commission stressed that the opening of the probe "does not prejudge the final result of the investigation."
Navteq is one of only two producers of navigable digital maps offering complete coverage of Europe and North America. The other producer is a Dutch firm, Tele Atlas.
In its preliminary review of the case, the commission identified serious concerns that, "in the light of the duopoly market for navigable digital maps and Nokia's strong position on the market for mobile handsets", the deal might limit competition.
The in-depth investigation will focus on assessing "whether the transaction would increase the costs of navigable digital map for other companies providing navigation services on mobile handsets or limit their access to these maps, and as a consequence harm consumers," officials said.
The EU executive has until August 8 to take a final decision.
The commission is also currently reviewing another similar operation involving the proposed acquisition of Tele Atlas by TomTom, a Dutch company which makes portable navigation devices and sells navigation software for mobile phones.