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EU to rule on GE, Alstom energy deal by August 21

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The European Commission said Tuesday it would decide by August 21 whether to approve General Electric's proposed US$14 billion acquisition of the energy business of French group Alstom.

[BRUSSELS] The European Commission said Tuesday it would decide by August 21 whether to approve General Electric's proposed US$14 billion acquisition of the energy business of French group Alstom.

Announcing the new deadline, the Commission's spokesman on competition, Ricardo Cardoso, said the decision was delayed because the EU had been waiting on information from GE and Alstom, forcing a temporary suspension of the inquiry.

The decision had been originally expected by August 6.

"Stopping the clock is a standard procedure," Mr Cardoso said, adding that the Commission had now received all the information requested of the parties.

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GE spokesman Seth Martin said Monday that the US industrial giant was prepared to make concessions to win the EU's approval.

GE was "willing to explore remedies to get this deal done, provided the deal economics are preserved," he added.

Announcing the probe in February EU competition authorities cited fears that the transaction would lead to higher prices and harm innovation in the energy sector.

GE chief executive Jeff Immelt met with EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager earlier this month in Brussels.

AFP

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