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BHP Billiton's Merger with Rio Tinto Receives Clearance

BHP Billiton today welcomed the decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that it does not object to BHP Billiton's proposed acquisition of Rio Tinto.

"We are very pleased to have received notice that the ACCC will not object to our proposed acquisition of Rio Tinto.

"We have long believed in the benefits of the combination of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. Our strategic rationale has always been based on the combined company having an incentive to produce more product, more quickly, to deliver to customers." BHP Billiton's Chief Commercial Officer, Alberto Calderon, said.

Confirmation that the ACCC does not object satisfies the Australian merger control pre-condition of BHP Billiton's proposed offer for Rio Tinto. In July, the U.S. Department of Justice also announced it would not oppose the transaction. The offer remains subject to the pre-conditions as disclosed in Appendix 1 of the announcement on 6 February 2008.

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