UTC gains EU antitrust approval to buy Rockwell Collins

United Technologies logo is displayed on a screen at the post where it's stock is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. aerospace and industrial company United Technologies Corp UTX.N secured conditional EU approval on Friday for its $23 billion bid for avionics maker Rockwell Collins COL.N, the largest aerospace deal in history.

The European Commission, which acts as the competition watchdog in the European Union, said UTC agreed to sell businesses making actuators, pilot controls, ice protection and oxygen systems.

The European Commission said concessions offered by UTC addressed its concerns about the deal, confirming a Reuters report on May 2.

“We can allow this merger to go ahead because in all the markets where we raised concerns, UTC has committed to divest activities covering the entire overlap between the two companies,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

UTC, maker of Pratt & Whitney jet engines and various plane components, is hoping the deal will give it more leverage against plane makers negotiating price cuts. Its customers include Boeing BA.N, Airbus AIR.PA and Bombardier BBDb.TO.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek