EU charges Merck KGaA, GE, Canon of misleading merger info


EU antitrust regulators accused German drugmaker Merck KGaA, General Electric and Japan's Canon of providing misleading information during their merger deals, as regulators stepped up their crackdown on such practices.

The European Commission said it had sent three separate charge sheets known as statements of objections to Merck and Sigma-Aldrich, General Electric and Canon.

While the charges will not affect the EU approvals of the deals, they could lead to fines up to 1 percent of global revenue for Merck KGaA and General Electric, and up to 10 percent for Canon.

Merck KGaA was accused of failing to provide information about an innovation project for chemicals during the merger review of its Sigma-Aldrich takeover which was approved in June 2015.

GE was charged with providing misleading research and development information related to its takeover of LM Wind earlier this year.

The EU competition enforcer said Canon jumped the gun via a complex move and acquired Toshiba Medical Systems Corp prior to securing regulatory approval. The deal was approved in September 2016.

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