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Joaquin Almunia: EC received 309 merger notifications in 2011

Joaquin Almunia has said the EC received 309 notifications of mergers in 2011, but only blocked one.

22 February 2012

Merger and acquisition consultants could have been in high demand during 2011, new figures suggest.

Vice-president of the European Commission (EC) responsible for competition policy Joaquin Almunia said during the New Frontiers of Antitrust 2012 - Revue Concurrences that commissioners received 309 notifications relating to mergers over the year.

The only one that was not cleared was a combination between Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines, which he claimed would have "created a quasi-monopoly on the Greek air transport market".

It is his "duty to intervene" in any join-up that could damage a market's competitive conditions and the wider interests of consumers and businesses, the commissioner continued.

He pointed to the recent decision made by the EC to block the combination between NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse.

At the time, Mr Almunia said: "These markets are at the heart of the financial system and it is crucial for the whole European economy that they remain competitive."

Many mergers have led to the creation of particularly sizable organisations, Mr Almunia told the conference, pointing to those between Volkswagen and MAN, Air France and KLM, Trenitalia and Veolia Transport, as well as Fiat and Chrysler.

Posted by Ron Maverick

Source: EC press release

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