The European Commission has set a deadline for its inquiry into the merger between Dutch dairy cooperatives Friesland Foods and Campina.

Brussels will rule on the proposed deal before 17 July.

The merger would create a new company, Frieslandcampina, which would have annual sales in excess of EUR9bn (US$13.9bn).

The newly-created company would continue to operate as a farmer-owned cooperative and expects to realise synergies of EUR175m.