French dairy groups Sodiaal and Entremont Alliance will find out in three weeks if the EU plans to approve their powdered milk joint venture.

The European Commission has set a deadline of 7 December for its review of the deal, which was agreed in July.

The companies plan to integrate their operations producing baby food formulas, elaborated milk ingredients and nutritional and dietetic products.

The companies' sites in Doullens in the north of France and Montauban, in the south-west of the country, will be the production units for the venture.

Sodiaal and Entremont Alliance are already partners in the production of milk fats and butter but said this new tie-up would help them face the challenges thrown up by recent reform of the EU dairy sector.