GE, EUROPEAN UNION MEETING POSTPONED; ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED

BRUSSELS, Belgium

A planned face-to-face meeting between General Electric Co. CEO Jack Welch and the European Union’s (EU) antitrust chief was postponed June 8 in a sign of possible trouble for GE’s $41 billion purchase of Honeywell Int’l.

GE spokeswoman Louise Binns says the GE-Honeywell team, led by GE Vice Chairman Dennis Dammerman, “is in continuous meetings with the merger task force as they exchange views and work to narrow the issues.”

Welch flew in to Brussels early June 8 to try to persuade EU regulators to drop their objections to the deal. Binns declined to comment on whether he would stay for a possible later meeting or return to the United States.

Sources close to GE, however, said, on condition of anonymity, that the meeting has been rescheduled to Wednesday.

The postponement adds to the pressure on GE and Honeywell, who face a Tuesday deadline for making their final offer of concessions. The EU’s decision is due July 12.

To do business in Europe, U.S. companies must comply with EU law just as European companies must abide by U.S. law to do business in America.

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