GE gains EU approval for $4.3 billion Avio buy

BRUSSELS Tue Jul 2, 2013 5:49am EDT

A GE logo is seen in a store in Santa Monica, California, October 11, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

A GE logo is seen in a store in Santa Monica, California, October 11, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. conglomerate General Electric (GE.N) won EU clearance on Tuesday for its $4.3 billion bid for Italian plane components maker AVIO after agreeing to protect strategic information related to the Eurofighter project.

Avio is a key supplier to the Eurofighter, which competes with other combat planes powered by GE engines.

The European Commission said concessions offered by GE were sufficient to sooth concerns that the company may access strategic information related to its rivals after the Avio takeover.

"GE offered a series of commitments which will ensure that the Eurojet consortium's strategic information is properly protected and that Eurojet and Eurofighter can continue to participate in future campaigns for export sales," the EU competition authority said.

"Avio will continue to fulfill its share of the consortium's production based on Italy's contribution to this important European military program," it said.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by John O'Donnell)

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