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The news that the US authorities do not intend to initiate a 45 day inquiry into the implications of GEC Siemens Plc’s bid for Plessey Co Plc on Plessey’s US defence interests, removes one more obstacle to successful pursuit of the bid – albeit a fairly minor one compared with those that Plessey still has in its locker to strew in the path of its pursuers: Plessey knows that it can’t count on the UK or European Community regulators to scupper the bid this time, so the company can be expected to counterattack on the commercial front, with its 50% shareholding in GEC Plessey Telecommunications likely to be given a key role in its defence strategy.

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