7:18 AM, Apr 8, 2019 — The European Commission(EC) has fined General Electric (GE) 52 million euros ($58.5 million) for providing what it described as “incorrect information” during its investigation of GE’s planned acquisition of blade manufacturer LM Wind.
The Commission said that the fine had no impact on its approval of the transaction under EU merger rules, as this was based on rectified information from General Electric provided after the Commission alleged that the erroneous information had been provided.
In January 2017, GE notified its proposed acquisition of LM Wind. In the notification, the EC said that GE had stated that it did not have any higher power output wind turbine for offshore applications in development, beyond its existing 6 megawatt turbine. However, through information collected from a third party, the Commission said that it had found that GE was simultaneously offering a 12 megawatt offshore wind turbine to potential customers.
As a result, GE withdrew its notification of the acquisition of LM Wind on February 2 2017 and on February 13 2017 GE re-notified the same transaction, this time including complete information on its future project, according to the EC. On March 20 2017, the Commission approved the proposed acquisition.
“Our merger assessment and decision-making can only be as good as the information that we obtain to support it. Accurate information is essential for the Commission to take competition decisions in full knowledge of the facts,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said. “The fine imposed today on General Electric is proof that the Commission takes breaches of the obligation for companies to provide us with correct information very seriously.”
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