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EU: EC probing EDF/Areva deal

 |  May 3, 2017

EU antitrust regulators are investigating whether French utility EDF’s bid for a majority stake in Areva’s nuclear arm would hit competition and innovation in the nuclear services market, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The European Commission is currently examining a deal that would see state-controlled EDF acquire 51 to 75 percent of Areva NP, which designs, makes and services nuclear reactors. The sale is part of loss-making Areva’s rescue plan.

The EU competition enforcer will rule by May 29 whether to clear the deal with or without conditions, or whether to open a full-scale, four-month investigation.

The Commission has asked rivals and customers how the deal will affect prices, innovation and quality, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Innovation has become a key focus for regulators seeking to ensure the pipeline of key products and technologies will continue to flow after companies are snapped up by rivals.

Regulators also want to know if other suppliers would be able to step in in the event New Areva NP decides only to provide services to EDF once the deal is completed, the source said.

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