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Thursday 28 February, 2002

Dept.Trade&Industry

Statement re GE Engine/Unison

Dept Trade & Industry
28 February 2002


                 GE/UNISON: PRESS NOTICE
                            
                            
 UK ASKS EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO CONSIDER UK COMPETITION
ASPECTS OF GE ENGINE SERVICES / UNISON INDUSTRIES MERGER

The UK has asked the EC to consider the UK competition
aspects of the proposed merger between GE Engine Services
- a subsidiary of General Electric - and the US aircraft
components manufacturer Unison Industries.

This merger would not automatically qualify for
consideration under EC Merger Regulations (ECMR) and
would ordinarily be dealt with by the UK competition
authorities. However, the Director General of Fair
Trading has advised that this merger may have an impact
on markets that extend beyond the UK. The DTI have agreed
that it would, therefore, be appropriate to ask the EC to
consider the matter in accordance with Article 22 of the
ECMR.

Competition authorities from France, Germany and Spain
have also asked the Commission to consider the case, in
as far as it impacts on their markets, in the expectation
that the EC will consider the competition aspects in all
the Member States concerned.

Notes to Editors

1.    GE  Engine Services Inc, is active in the  sale  of
replacement  engine  parts and maintenance  services  for
engines made by a range of manufacturers. It is a  wholly
owned subsidiary of the General Electric Company (GE),  a
diversified  industrial company  active  in  a  range  of
fields   including   aircraft   &   industrial   engines,
appliances,   information   services,   power    systems,
lighting, broadcasting and transportation systems. Unison
Industries   Inc,  is  a  privately  held  company   that
manufactures  and  sells various engine  accessories  and
controls.  Its  products  are  used  for  a  variety   of
application areas such as commercial aviation,  military,
helicopter, marine and industrial applications.

2.   Concentrations meeting the turnover thresholds set
out in Article 1 of the EC Merger Regulation (ECMR -
Council Regulation 4064/89 as amended) fall directly to
the consideration of the European Commission rather than
national competition authorities. However, Article 22(3)
of the ECMR enables a Member State acting alone or a
number of Member States acting together to request that
the Commission examine a concentration that does not meet
the turnover thresholds. Following such a request, the
Article provides that the Commission may consider such a
case as it would a concentration meeting the ECMR
thresholds insofar as it affects trade between Member
States.

3.   Member States first made joint use of Article 22(3)
in this way in respect of the bid by Italian weaving
machine manufacturer Promatech's bid for Sulzer Textile
(Switzerland) in December 2001. As on that occasion, use
of Article 22(3) has been possible in the current case
primarily because of recent improvements to liaison
between the national competition authorities of the
Member States involved. This has enabled the necessary co-
ordination to take place within the tight deadlines set
down in the ECMR for making requests under Article 22.





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