European Merger Rules Simplified

New antitrust rules in the European Union should simplify the merger application process for U.S. companies seeking to unite with European firms. The companies can now make one application to the European Commission in Brussels; formerly they had to file in each of the EU's 15 member countries. The new regulations apply to mergers and joint ventures that create stand-alone companies. Alliances such as the proposed partnership between British Airways Plc and AMR Corp.'s American Airlines unit do not qualify for one-stop filing.

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