April date for Penguin/Random clearance

The European Union is on schedule to make an initial decision by early April on whether the Random House/Penguin merger does or does not "raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market".

The EU has set a provisional deadline of 5th April for phase one of its examination of the merger.

After that date, which can be extended by 10 days if necessary, a detailed appraisal will be carried out, with a final decision on approval or prohibition to be made within the following 90 working days, with a small time extension possible.

The EU procedure would put the merger on track for completion no later than the 2013 third quarter, if approved.

The merger was "unconditionally" cleared by the Department of Justice in the US earlier this month (15th).