European Commission insiders have let it be known that senior officials will today (Friday) recommend to competition commissioner Neelie Kroes that Procter & Gamble's $57 billion (€47.15bn; £32.41bn) takeover of the Gillette Company receives the green light.

The EC's attitude to the deal reportedly softened earlier this week after P&G offered major concessions related to its electronic toothbrush business. It will now sell the business and license the various brand names in use across the EC.

A P&G-Gillette marriage would create the world's largest consumer goods manufacturer, toppling Unilever from its perch. Kroes will be advised by her acolytes that the deal no longer endangers competition in the European consumer goods market, rendering a further in-depth probe unnecessary.

It is rare - but not unknown - for a competition commissioner to overrule the recommendations of officials.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff