Following the successful BP/Amoco merger and clearances from both the European Commission and America's own anti-trust authority, US oil giants Exxon Corp and Mobil Corp are holding a series of pre-notification talks with the Commission's own Competition Directorate Generale in Brussels. The talks with the Commission, which are a perfectly normal procedure that most companies carry out before moving ahead with their merger (and subsequent notification) will centre on regulatory approval of their merger, although a formal filing is not expected for some time, a Commission official confirmed. "We are in constant contact with the companies...but we are not expecting a notification immediately," the senior official said, adding that it was "standard" procedure and that things "were going rather well". Exxon and Mobil announced a stock-swap deal on December 1, 1998, further strengthening Exxon's lead of the global oil industry. European Union law on the control of mergers provides for formal notification within one...

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