Bloomberg News

U.S., EU Urge Companies to Request Merger Approval at Same Time

October 14, 2011

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. and European Union antitrust regulators urged companies to file for regulatory approval for takeovers “at broadly the same time” to avoid “inconsistent” decisions.

The Department of Justice’s antitrust division and the European Commission agreed on rules this week for cooperating when both regulators are reviewing on the same deal, the Brussels-based EU said today.

Companies can make a “substantial contribution” to cooperation “by making sure that the two authorities are notified at the same time,” the European Commission said in an e-mailed statement. “Such cooperation is in the merging parties’ interest to avoid inconsistent remedies.”

EU regulators threatened in 2009 to block Oracle Corp.’s purchase of Sun Microsystems Inc. even though the U.S. approved the deal and didn’t share the EU’s concern over possible competition problems in the database market. EU officials said at the time that it was “unusual” for another regulator to comment on an ongoing probe.

--Editor: Anthony Aarons

To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.


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