Brussels approves Fortis ABN Amro deal

The European Commission has given the green light to Dutch-Belgian insurer Fortis for the takeover of parts of Dutch banking group ABN Amro, as long as certain conditions are met.

These include the sale of around 10% of ABN Amro’s Dutch activities following the takeover.
European competition commissioner Neelie Kroes was concerned that a Fortis takeover would result in less competition on the Dutch commercial banking market.
Fortis has reacted positively to the Commission decision and told ANP news service that the conditions set are unlikely to have any significant effect on its plans to integrate Fortis and ABN Amro after the merger.
But trade unions are less happy claiming that the ruling means more uncertainty for around 800 ABN Amro employees.
Fortis is part of a consortium which has bid over €71bn for ABN Amro. Its two partners, Spain’s Santander bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland, were given approval for their part in the takeover two weeks ago.
The consortium’s rival, British bank Barclays, was given the go ahead for its bid of around €61bn (at current share price levels) in August.

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