Will the EU Press the Life Out of United Technologies’ Big Deal?

The European Commission is playing it cautious, postponing its deadline for ruling on United Technologies Corp.’s (NYSE:UTX) $16.5 billion bid to acquire Goodrich Corp. (NYSE:GR) until August 9.

The European Commission wants to scrutinize the deal in more detail to assess its impact on market competition for AC power generators and engine controls.

Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s antitrust commissioner, said in a statement: “The aviation equipment industry is already concentrated and is characterized by high barriers to entry. We need to make sure that competition is preserved and incentives to innovate remain. We must also prevent a rise in input prices for aircraft and engine manufacturers as well as other aviation equipment suppliers.”

United Technologies is a premier manufacturer in the aviation sector with brands such as Sikorsky helicopters and Pratt & Whitney aero engines. A huge demand for commercial airplanes may be its incentive to acquire Goodrich, globally the biggest maker of aircraft landing gear and other products such as jet engine housings and anti-icing aircraft systems.

The company is unfazed by the Commission’s stand. Spokesman John Moran said via e-mail: “The phase II in the EU is not surprising; it is part of the normal regulator review process. We continue to work with the EU and other regulatory authorities and continue to expect a mid-year closing.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Sundeep Goyal at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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