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Ombudsman tells EU to take care with merger data

Ombudsman tells EU to take care with merger data

The EU ombudsman told the European Commission Monday to be more careful in guarding corporate secrets when it weighs a proposed merger or acquisition.
Ombudsman P. Nikiforos Diamandouros criticized the EU executive for "maladministration" but said it did not break confidentiality rules during an inquiry into a 2006 takeover bid by no-frills carrier Ryanair of Irish state-owned rival Aer Lingus.
The ombudsman criticized the executive for putting a poorly worded "confidentiality declaration" before Aer Lingus and other interested parties.
It led to the publication of sensitive merger details, such as future airport slots, in media reports and in a letter to Aer Lingus shareholders.
Diamandouros said he could not trace media leaks to the European Commission but said the confidentiality declaration was inadequate and amounted to maladministration. The declaration was later amended.
The European Commission rejected Ryanair's bid in June, 2007, saying it would not create more competition or better air services. Ryanair's complaint to the ombudsman was filed in May, 2007.
The ombudsman urged the executive to cooperate more with national antitrust "authorities, with an eye to ensuring that confidential documents transmitted to them are not disclosed."
The EU ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the EU from any EU citizen, resident or a company.
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On the Net:
http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/cases/decision.faces/en/3972/html.bookmark


Updated : 2021-03-01 15:58 GMT+08:00