European Commission approves Acer's buying Packard Bell

Europe's top competition authority says the deal will not significantly impede effective competition

The European Commission Wednesday gave the go-ahead for the takeover of Dutch computer maker Packard Bell by Acer of Taiwan, after a one-month examination of the deal.

In a statement Europe's top competition authority said the deal "would not significantly impede effective competition," even though the companies compete head-on in the markets for desktops and laptops for professional and private use.

"The market would remain competitive post-merger in all segments of the PC sector with established alternative suppliers such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, Toshiba, Sony and Lenovo," the Commission said.

Acer announced it was buying a 75 per cent stake in Packard Bell's parent company PB Holdings Co. for US$45.8 million at the end of January.

The move is seen as defensive, to prevent Chinese computer maker Lenovo from buying Packard Bell to gain a foothold in the European market. Acer commands a strong position in Europe, especially in the laptop market.

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