GE Fined $58 Million as EU Cracks Down on Bad Merger Info

(Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co. was fined 52 million euros ($58.4 million) for misleading the European Union’s merger regulators during their review of its takeover of a wind-energy component maker.

The European Commission on Monday said the fine was justified after its investigation concluded that GE had provided “incorrect information” during the EU review of the 1.5 billion-euro takeover of LM Wind Power, a designer and manufacturer of blades used in wind turbines.

“Our merger assessment and decision-making can only be as good as the information that we obtain to support it,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. “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.”

The EU is clamping down on companies that fail to follow rules that allow it to police whether takeovers and mergers will harm competition. Altice NV was fined 124.5 million euros for moving ahead with a takeover before it had EU merger approval. Facebook Inc. was fined 110 million euros for misleading officials during a merger review.

Boston-based GE said it was reviewing the decision “in detail before determining our next actions.” In a regulatory filing last year, the company said that it anticipated a fine could be appealed in the EU courts.

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