Europe

EC has antitrust concerns in AA-BA-Iberia alliance

The European Commission said Friday that it had some antitrust objections to the proposed co-operation among the American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia on transatlantic routes as it could cut competition.

The European Union's antitrust watchdog informed that it had sent a statement of objections the concerned three airlines.

BAE pushes Serious Fraud Office to re-open settlement talks

BAE Systems, Europe's largest defence company, has been pushing the Serious Fraud Office to re-open settlement talks over corruption charges.

Shares in BAE Systems have plunged due to the defamed bribery case, which alleged that the arms manufacturer greased the palms of countries such as South Africa, Tanzania and Romania in order to get defence contracts.

People familiar with the issue said that BAE Systems still hoped for a settlement deal, though it had been repeatedly saying that it had not done anything wrong.

EU to regulate excessive volume of MP3 players

The European Commission has come up with new volume standards that will govern how loud portable music players can be, a move that will prevent hearing damage.

Hearing at around 85 decibels is safe but some MP3 players can play music up to about 120 decibels.

Meglena Kuneva, the consumer affairs commissioner for European Union, said, "It's easy to push up the sound levels on your MP3 player to damagingly loud levels, especially on busy streets or public transport."

European Medicines Agency approves GlaxoSmithKline’s swine flu vaccine, Pandemrix

European Medicines Agency has given the green signal to one of UK's swine flu vaccines - the GlaxoSmithKline vaccine, called Pandemrix. The European drugs regulator's recommendation of Pandemrix implies that the vaccine can be used in the European Union within a few weeks, once the licensing formalities are completed.

European stocks mark highest closing since early November

European Shares traded higher on Friday and managed their highest close since early November. Investor sentiment was lifted by better-than expected U. S. July existing homes sales. The major gainers were the banking stocks.

The closing of the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares came at 2.3 percent at 966.87 points. It should be noted that index apart from being up about 16 percent for the year, has hiked almost 50 percent since reaching a lifetime low in early March.

Volkswagen inks deal to acquire Porsche

Volkswagen, Europe's biggest carmaker, and luxury auto manufacturer Porsche have finally approved a plan to merge by 2011.

The move will create an automotive giant, which includes ten major brands - including Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi and Skoda.

Under the terms of the agreement, Volkswagen will pay up to 3.3 billion euros for the stake by the end of 2009 and issue new preferred shares sometime in the first half of
2010 to finance the deal.

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