Maersk Line has offered concessions to EU antitrust regulators in an attempt to get approval for the takeover of German rival Hamburg Süd and gain the strength the 2M carrier line network needs to take on the Ocean and THE alliances when they form this year.
The European Commission's website stated on Wednesday (March 23) that a ruling on the deal will now be given by April 10, 2017.
The deadline was initially set for March 27 but the commission said it has extended its review as the firms have now offered concessions to address regulatory concerns.
In seperate developments, Maersk was summoned along with other major carrier lines in antitrust investigations by the US Justice Department yesterday (March 22) as part of a probe into the alliances.
Maersk Line, part of Danish conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk, is one of several carrier lines seeking consolidation to offset low freight rates and oversupply.
The Ocean and THE alliances, if unhindered in their plans, will cover about 45% of global container shipping capacity on April 1, 2017.
It reported that the Ocean Alliance has the most services at its disposal with a total of 40 loops spread across seven East-West trades, followed by THE Alliance with 32 services and 2M with 25.
The Ocean Alliance, led by CMA-CGM and made up of China Cosco Shipping, Evergreen Line, and Orient Overseas Container Line, will be the largest alliance in shipping history.