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GE Offers Concessions for Approval to Buy Avio’s Engine Business

July 2 (Bloomberg) -- General Electric Co., the biggest maker of jet engines, won European regulatory approval to buy Avio SpA after the U.S. company agreed not to get involved in business concerning the European Typhoon combat jet.

GE offered unidentified commitments to protect “strategic information” in the engine alliance, the EU said today. Authorities had been concerned GE’s $4.3 billion takeover of Avio from Cinven Ltd. and Finmeccanica SpA would give it “a significant degree of influence” in the partnership.

The remedies are “likely to be considered a business secret by the companies,” said Antoine Colombani, a spokesman for the European Commission. The European Commission usually spells out what steps companies take to address competition concerns.

General Electric’s F414 engine powers the Boeing Co. F/A-18E/F and Saab AB Gripen NG fighter jets. They compete for export orders with the Eurofighter consortium offering the Typhoon that uses the EuroJet Turbo GmbH EJ200 engine built in partnership by Avio, Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc and MTU Aero Engines AG. The combat planes are squaring off in markets from Malaysia to the United Arab Emirates.

“The commitments eliminate the conflict of interest created by the merger,” the EU said.

Cinven and Finmeccanica retain the space engine activities that Turin, Italy-based Avio owned.

To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Wall in London at rwall6@bloomberg.net; Gaspard Sebag in Brussels at gsebag@bloomberg.net

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

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