Business World

Wednesday 17 January 2018

GE, Merck and Canon latest in Vestager's firing line

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Foo Yun Chee

General Electric, German drug-maker Merck and Japan's Canon risk hefty fines after EU anti-trust regulators accused them of providing misleading information during separate merger deals.

The European Commission said yesterday that it had sent three separate charge sheets, known as statements of objections, to General Electric, Merck and Canon after investigations showed breaches of the bloc's merger rules.

While the charges will not affect the EU approvals of the deals, they could lead to fines of up to 1pc of global revenue for Merck and General Electric and up to 10pc for Canon.

GE was charged with providing misleading research and development information related to its takeover of Danish rotor blade maker LM Wind this year, which secured the EU green light in March.

Merck was accused of failing to provide information about an innovation project for chemicals during the merger review of its Sigma-Aldrich takeover,which was approved in June 2015.

As a result, Honeywell acquired the technology only after a year's delay.

The EU competition enforcer said Canon jumped the gun via a two-step warehousing move to acquire Toshiba Medical prior to securing regulatory approval.

The deal was approved in September 2016.

"Companies have to give us full and accurate information, so we can take the right decisions. These decisions require a forward-looking assessment," European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told a news conference.

GE and Merck said they had acted in good faith, while Canon said that it would respond in due course. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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