GE points to Chinese competition in persuading EU regulators

General Electric chiefs met EU antitrust regulators on Thursday, aiming to persuade them that their acquisition of Alstom will not contravene competition law.

GE are pointing to the presence of competition from China as an indicator that the Alstom deal will not be as influential as the regulator perceives.
 Steve Bolze
The US conglomerate asked for the closed-door hearing after the European Commission said the deal, GE’s biggest ever, would harm competition because it would leave just two gas turbine companies in Europe – GE and German rival Siemens (SIEGn.DE).

Steve Bolze, president and CEO of GE Power & Water, GE’s biggest industrial unit, was expected to counter the Commission’s concerns with data showing that the merged company’s market power would not be as dominant as painted by the regulator.

Bolze was also to ask that a broader assessment of the sector take into account Chinese rivals, which the Commission has excluded from its review.

GE is expected to offer concessions in the coming days. It has said it would be willing to give up some intellectual property rights related to some of Alstom’s assets but not anything that would affect lucrative service revenue streams.

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