(MB) The European Commission has started an in-depth investigation into Novelis’ proposed acquisition of Aleris over concerns that the deal may reduce competition in the semi-finished aluminium market and lead to rising prices. US-based Novelis, a subsidiary of India’s Hindalco, and Aleris are both global downstream aluminium product producers. In Europe, the two companies have operations in Belgium, Germany, Italy and the UK. The acquisition is expected to give Novelis a wider product portfolio and will help the company bolster its presence in North America, Europe and Asia. The initial EC investigation into Novelis‘ pending $2.6 billion acquisition of Aleris – initiated after after the two companies notified the commission on February 18 – raised concerns about the aluminium automotive body sheet market and how consumers could “face a reduced choice in suppliers, as well as higher prices”, the commission said.