WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Oct. 17 that General Electric (GE) has agreed to make incentive payments until it completes its global divestiture of GE Water, a move originally undertaken to resolve anticompetitive concerns after the company acquired Baker Hughes Inc.
When GE first announced its acquisition attempt of Baker Hughes, the Justice Department notified it of competitive concerns. To alleviate those concerns, GE agreed to divest worldwide assets of GE Water to SUEZ S.A. by the end of September.
GE has relinquished control of 90 percent of the assets, but has had trouble finalizing the asset sale due to administrative challenges. To encourage a prompt finalization, a new court order mandates that GE make incentive payments until completing the divestiture.
“The Antitrust Division takes seriously the enforcement of commitments parties make when settling antitrust lawsuits and will seek to have the parties reimburse U.S. taxpayers for the fees and expenses the division incurs in enforcing our consent decrees,” said assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim of the Antitrust Division. “I want to recognize and commend General Electric for its proactive cooperation in resolving the issues arising from the incomplete execution of the required divestiture within the original time frame and for agreeing to reimburse the taxpayers in connection with the review and revision of the decree.”