EU watchdog to examine GE’s $14 bln Alstom deal more closely

BRUSSELS, Feb 23 (Reuters) – General Electric’s 12.4 billion euro ($14.1 billion) bid for Alstom’s power equipment business could lead to price rises, EU antitrust regulators said on Monday as they opened a full-scale investigation into the deal, increasing pressure on the U.S. conglomerate to offer concessions.

GE has had its acquisition ambitions quashed by European regulators before. In 2001 the European Commission blocked its $42 billion purchase of rival Honeywell International Inc despite U.S. regulatory approval, though GE says it has cleared more than 50 transactions in the region since then.

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