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BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto have noted with disappointment the statement today by the German Federal Cartel Office (FCO) that its current intention is to prohibit the companies’ proposed iron ore production joint venture in Western Australia.

The German regulatory process continues and the parties are expecting to receive a formal notification next week.

The parties continue to believe that the joint venture is pro-competitive and will increase the supply of iron ore. However, both BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto acknowledge the concerns expressed by some regulators and the obstacles to achieving clearance for the joint venture.

No decisions about next steps have been taken at this stage while regulatory discussions continue.

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