The European Commission's request for further information on WPP Group's intended acquisition of Grey Global Group [WAMN 24-Nov-04] has forced a two-month extension of the date for completion of the $1.2 billion (€904.4m; £624.2m) deal.

The required information relates to competition concerns - over which the EC must be satisfied before greenlighting the takeover, agreed between the two parties in September.

Originally scheduled to be wrapped by the end of this month, the two-month delay was revealed in a December 1 filing made to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The completion deadline is now August 2005, although executives of both groups say they expect the acquisition to go final some time during next year's first quarter.

The acquisition will provide WPP with a roster of bluechip clients such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline , creating a titan large enough to overtake current global leader Omnicom.

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff