Maersk Line agreed in December to pay about $US4 billion for Hamburg Sud. The EC approval was based on the condition, including withdrawal of Hamburg Sud from five consortia on trade routes connecting Northern Europe and Central America/Caribbean, according to Logistics Business Review.
The routes also include Northern Europe and West Coast South America, Northern Europe and Middle East, Mediterranean and West Coast South America and Mediterranean and East Coast South America.
According to EC, the merged entity will not have more competition on these routes after the deal. The effect of the merger will be on seventeen trade routes connecting Europe with the Americas, Asia, the Middle-East, Africa and Australia/New Zealand.
Hamburg Sud has 130 container vessels with a container capacity of 625,000 TEU. With around 5,960 employees in more than 250 offices across the world, the company commercialises its services through Hamburg Sud, Chile-based CCNI and Brazil-based Alianca brands.
EC competition policy-in-charge commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: "Competitive shipping services are essential for European companies and for the EU's economy as a whole.
"The commitments offered by Maersk Line and HSDG will maintain a healthy level of competition to the benefit of the very many EU companies that depend on these container shipping services."