The European Union's antitrust watchdog opened an in-depth investigation on Tuesday into United Technologies Corp.'s $18.4 billion bid to take over Goodrich Corp. (IW500/128), both U.S. aerospace firms.
A preliminary probe indicated "potential competition concerns" in the markets for engine controls and power generators, which could give the companies "very high combined market shares," the European Commission said.
With the deal, United Technologies Corp. (IW500/21), which makes Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines and Sikorsky helicopters, would acquire a major global supplier of systems and services to aerospace, defense and homeland security markets.
"The aviation equipment industry is already concentrated and is characterized by high barriers to entry," said EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.
"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."
The commission has until Aug. 9 to take a final decision on whether the deal would harm competition in the European Economic Area.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012