AUTOMOTIVE COMPONENTS: COMMISSION CLEARS KNORR-BREMSE/BOSCH AIR BRAKES JOINT VENTURE.

Summary: An air brakes joint venture between automotive equipment and electrical consumer goods manufacturer Robert Bosch GmbH and Knorr-Bremse AG, a fellow German supplier of braking and hydraulic systems for commercial, road and railway vehicles, has been cleared by the European Commission under EU merger control rules. The merged company KB SfN will make air brake systems for commercial vehicles over six tonnes and, despite its market leadership for some components, it is not expected to reinforce a dominant position on any of the individual components markets, according to a Commission statement issued on December 15.

The joint venture was originally launched in 1993 to combine the European air brake operations of Knorr-Bremse and Allied Signal Inc, the big US car components supplier. This new deal will remove Allied Signal's control, whilst rendering Bosch joint control of the company. Bosch will transfer its entire air brake operations to the joint venture (but not its more important passenger car brake business). In particular, Bosch will contribute its know-how with respect to electronic technology used in air braking systems. The Commission's investigation showed, however, that the degree of overlap resulting form the merger is limited...

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