EU antitrust regulators to probe Boeing, Embraer deal

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators opened on Friday a full-scale investigation into Boeing’s (N:) bid for a controlling stake in Embraer’s (SA:) commercial aircraft arm, saying the deal may reduce competition and push up prices.

The European Commission said the deal would remove world No. 3 player Embraer from the commercial aircraft industry while potential rivals from China, Japan and Russia would be unable to fill the gap in the next decade because of the high barriers to entry.

The EU competition enforcer said both companies engage in head-to-head competition in terms of price and other parameters worldwide and in Europe. The deal would also remove Embraer from the overall single aisle plane market.

The Commission set a Feb. 20 deadline for its decision. Reuters was the first to report on an imminent EU investigation, which was subsequently confirmed by Embraer.

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