Reuters news service reports that a European Union advisory committee will consider General Electric‘s proposed $42 billion purchase of Honeywell Int’l today, against criticism from the United States.
The 15 members of the European Union, all of which will send representatives to the meeting, have received information from all sides in recent days, and informed sources say they may need time to digest it. The representatives of the 15 EU countries will meet the Merger Task Force, made up of commission experts who are reviewing the acquisition.
The countries are weighing the commission task force’s 122-page draft decision recommending rejection of the deal, along with GE’s own final offer of remedies. Nonetheless, few doubt that eventually the advisory committee will back the commission task force and it is very possible a decision will be reached today.
But dissent and doubt may push the decision beyond Monday, the sources say. Some countries, which have listened carefully to GE as well as to the commission, may want time to reflect on all they have learned.
European Competition Commissioner Mario Monti is likely to cite the advisory committee and make a negative recommendation to the full commission, scheduled to vote on the deal on July 3 in Strasbourg, France. As is traditional, the commission is set to act well ahead of its final July 12 deadline.