United Technologies Corp. gets European go-ahead for $23 billion purchase of Rockwell Collins

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A $23 billion bid from United Technologies Corp (UTC) to buy aircraft electronic equipment maker Rockwell Collins was approved by the European Union (EU) on Friday.

The deal between the two U.S. firms is the biggest merger in aerospace history, according to reports. It was given the go-ahead by Europe’s competition watchdog on the condition that UTC first sells businesses making actuators, pilot controls, ice protection and oxygen systems.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of EU competition policy, said UTC had satisfied concerns.

“We can allow this merger to go ahead because in all the markets where we raised concerns, UTC has committed to divest activities covering the entire overlap between the two companies,” she said.

UTC, which makes Pratt & Whitney engines and other plane parts, sells its products to large aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus.

Boeing had expressed concerns over the merger, but gave its approval on March 19.

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