EU concerned about GE’s bid for Alstom’s power equipment business

24 February 2015 (Last Updated February 24th, 2015 18:30)

The European Union has decided to go ahead with a thorough investigation of General Electric's €12.4bn (£9.1bn) bid for Alstom's power equipment business, fearing price hikes.

The European Union has decided to go ahead with a thorough investigation of General Electric’s €12.4bn (£9.1bn) bid for Alstom’s power equipment business, fearing price hikes.

The purchase deal is likely to make Siemens the only competitor left for GE in Europe for heavy-duty gas turbines used in gas-fired power facilities, the EU said.

It is claimed that the Alstom deal is part of GE’s strategy to move away from finance and focus more on industrial operations, according to Reuters. .

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager was quoted by Reuters as saying: "We are concerned that the proposed acquisition might not only lead to higher prices, but also result in less choice for customers and less innovation in the sector."

"GE disagree with the preliminary concerns raised by the EU statement today and Phase II is the normal process for engagement on these issues."

The EU is anxious that GE will stop producing certain heavy duty gas turbine models manufactured by Alstom. The commission is also apprehensive that the power firm will not release Alstom’s advanced HDGT technology into the market.

It is thought that the regulatory body will make its final decision by 8 July 2015.

While Alstom has agreed to co-operate with the Commission and its further actions, GE chose to disagree with it.

A spokesperson for GE said: "We disagree with the preliminary concerns raised by the EU statement today and Phase II is the normal process for engagement on these issues.

"Our goal remains to secure the required regulatory approvals and close the transaction by mid-2015."