The European Commission has imposed a €52m fine on General Electric for providing incorrect information during the Commission's investigation on GE's planned acquisition of LM Wind.
In January 2017, GE released a notification on its proposed acquisition of LM Wind, stating that it did not have any wind turbine for offshore applications in development, with higher power output beyond its existing 6MW turbine.
Through information collected from a third party, the Commission found that GE was concurrently offering a 12MW offshore wind turbine to its potential customers.
Following the withdrawal of the LM Wind acquisition notification by GE on 2 February 2017, and re-notification of the same transaction, with complete information on its future project, the EU Commission approved the acquisition on 20 March 2017.
In July 2017, the commission addressed a statement of objections to GE, alleging that it had violated its procedural obligations under the Merger Regulation.
Contrary to to the company’s statements in the first notification, an investigation carried out by the Commission has confirmed that GE has been offering a higher power output offshore wind turbine to potential customers.
The Commission, in a statement, said: “As a result, GE’s statement in the notification form that it had no higher power output wind turbines for offshore in development is incorrect.”
In April, GE announced the completion of the acquisition of Danish wind turbine blades supplier LM Wind Power from private equity firm Doughty Hanson for $1.6bn. The acquisition was made to boost wind turbine blade design and manufacturing capacity for GE’s Renewable Energy business.
EU Commission in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager said: “Our merger assessment and decision-making can only be as good as the information that we obtain to support it. Accurate information is essential for the Commission to take competition decisions in full knowledge of the facts.
“The fine imposed today on General Electric is proof that the Commission takes breaches of the obligation for companies to provide us with correct information very seriously.”