NU Online News Service, Nov. 17, 2003, 9:50 EST – The Federal Trade Commission has closed its investigation of Manulife Financial Corp.’s proposed acquisition of John Hancock Financial Services, Boston.

The FTC Friday announced an early termination of the waiting period required for the merger, in effect ending its review of the matter.

Under the planned acquisition, announced in late September, Manulife, in Toronto, will pay about $11 billion in stock for Hancock.

If completed, the merged company would have a market value of almost $26 billion, making it the second largest life insurance company in market capitalization in North America, after American International Group, Inc., New York.