Norwegian oilfield services firm Aker Maritime will take a 17.8 percent stake in Anglo-Norwegian engineering group Kvaerner this month after consulting the European Commission. Aker Maritime had previously agreed to buy a 26.7 percent stake, or a total of 28.5 million shares of Kvaerner, prompting an in-depth four-month investigation by the EC. A smaller stake, however, means that the EC will close its investigation into the effects on competition of a possible merger of the two companies, Aker said. The deal, making Aker Maritime the largest shareholder of Kvaerner ... "does not represent a controlling interest according to the EC's definitions, and the matter therefore falls outside the commission's authority according to the European Union's merger regulations," it said. Aker Maritime will acquire 11.6 million of Kvaerner shares from Norwegian ship owner Bergesen on December 19 and a further 7.4 million shares through the exercise of options on December 22, raising its total shares to 19 million.