FTC Gives Preliminary OK for GE Acquisition of Avio's Aviation Unit

The Federal Trade Commission's concerns surrounding General Electric's (NYSE: GE  ) bid to acquire the aviation unit of Italy-based Avio were mitigated following discussions involving GE, Avio, and Pratt & Whitney, clearing the way for the acquisition to be completed, the FTC announced recently.

At issue with the FTC is an existing agreement between Avio's aviation unit and Pratt & Whitney to supply an aircraft engine component called an accessory gearbox, or AGB, for Pratt and Whitney's PW1100G engine. As the only supplier of the AGB, the acquisition of Avio's aviation unit would give GE "the ability and incentive to disrupt the design and certification of Avio's AGB for the PW1100G engine," the FTC commented.

Parts of the new agreement among GE, Avio, and Pratt & Whitney, along with Pratt & Whitney's existing contract with Avio, will be included in the FTC's proposed settlement. The FTC settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period, which ends Aug. 19, after which it will "decide whether to make the proposed consent order final," according to the FTC.

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