GE provided incorrect information relating to the acquisition of Danish turbine blade manufacturer LM Wind Power in 2017, establishes the EU Commission Monday. The commission fines the US group EUR 52 million for breaching disclosure obligations in merger cases.
"Our merger assessment and decision-making can only be as good as the information that we obtain to support it. Accurate information is essential for the Commission to take competition decisions in full knowledge of the facts," says Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
"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.”
Meanwhile, the case only partially revolves around turbine blades. What was significant was that GE, in its notification of the proposed acquisition of the Danish company in 2017, informed that it was not in the process of developing a larger offshore turbine than the 6 MW Halide in its catalog.
In fact, GE was developing the Haliade X turbine of 12 MW, which was announced to the public in March 2018 – a fact that the EU Commission was notified of from a different party. As a consequence, GE pulled its proposal in the beginning of February, only to re-notify of its intention – this time with the correct information on the plans for the coming offshore turbine.
In March 2017, the EU Commission finally approved the acquisition, while the case against GE was made a few months later. The decision, therefore, has no impact on the merger.
English Edit: Jonas Sahl Jørgensen