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March 16, 1989

MOD COMMENTS ON THE GEC SIEMENS BID FOR PLESSEY

By CBR Staff Writer

The UK Ministry of Defence is demanding that if the GEC Siemens Plc bid for Plessey Co Plc is allowed to proceed, the Monopolies & Mergers Commission must insist that Plessey’s sonar and torpedo divisions be sold on to preserve competition; with the Commission now considering the impact of the transfer of the last UK chipmaker to Siemens and GEC (CI No 1,135) – despite the squeals from GEC, with a failed joint venture with Fairchild Camera & Instrument and a second source agreement on the pioneering Intel 8080 that was never activated, that company’s record in semiconductors is so dismal that it hardly sounds a convincing guardian of the UK’s interests – it looks increasingly likely that any green light from the Commission will be so hedged around with restrictions that it may not be worth the two companies’ whiles to proceed with any new bid.

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