BHP, Rio Scrap Plans to Form World's Biggest Iron Ore Exporter

BHP Billiton (BHP) and Rio Tinto (RIO) gave up on plans to form the world's biggest iron-ore exporter, citing regulatory requirements.

Regulators in Asia and Europe wanted the companies to implement changes, including asset sales, that the companies could not accept, Bloomberg News said. The regulators were worried that the deal would limit competition.

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BHP and Rio, the world's largest and third-largest miners, will miss out on more than $10 billion in savings by scrapping the plan.

"The full value of the synergies on offer from a 50-50 joint venture was a prize well worth pursuing," Tom Albanese, CEO of Rio, said today. "The regulators did not agree with us."

Antitrust regulators in Germany and Japan said last week they were opposed to the deal. There was also the possibility that the European Commission would raise formal objections.