Defense and aerospace companies BAE Systems PLC and EADS have hours to agree on whether to go ahead with a proposed merger that has faced opposition from Britain, France and Germany.

British-based defense contractor BAE Systems and Franco-German EADS, the parent of Airbus, must reach an agreement before 1600 GMT Wednesday on whether they would ask regulators for more time to finalize their plans, or abandon the deal.

The proposed mega-merger, which would create a global aerospace and defense company, has been fraught with difficulties because of political objections from governments in the U.K., France and Germany.

The governments, which have stakes in the companies, have fought over control of the proposed merger. All three countries must approve the deal for it to go ahead.