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The Antitrust Authority expressed reservations yesterday over the proposed merger between Netafim and Naan Dan AgroPro. "The merger is problematic and raises a series of problems over competition," the authority said.

One of the parties in the merger asked the authority recently about a number of possible mergers, of which this deal was one. The request consisted of a single phone call, and a number of problems were cited by the officials. No request for an official ruling, or pre-merger opinion, has been made - and none has been offered either.

There are three main drip irrigation companies in the Israeli market, of which Netafim is the largest and Naan number three. TheMarker revealed the proposed deal yesterday.