EU Will Not Oppose Opel Sale. Sort of...

The European Union and its Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes back down on the Opel-Magna deal and now say they will not oppose a sale of the German carmaker to the Canadian manufacturer, passing, in one swift move, the responsability of a possible Opel-Magna deal failure to GM.

The commissioner told AFP, through spokesman Jonathan Todd, that the EU now awaits GM's decision on who to buy Opel, a decision expected to be announced later this week.

"It is not the intention of the European Commission to try and block a particular deal in the case of Opel," Todd told the source. The EU only wants "to ensure that the money that's made available is under conditions which are acceptable under the state aid rules and the internal market rules."

"General Motors and Opel Trust are now reconsidering who they want to sell the majority stake to," Todd added. "We expect them to complete their deliberations during the course of this week, in which case we would expect them to inform the German authorities of their decision and for the German authorities to inform us."

EU's take on Opel has also been expressed by the EC's president Jose Manuel Barroso. According to the official, although a solution will be found, it cannot compromise EU's market regulations.

GM's board first meeting to discuss Magna's bid was scheduled to take place yesterday. No official conclusion of the talks has been announced and is likely GM will still have some thinking and bargaining to do until Magna is proclaimed Opel owner.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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