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Viernes, 28 de noviembre de 2003 - 16:28 GMT
Adquisiciones dentro de la UE
Comisión Europea

European Union governments have agreed a common set of rules to make it easier for businesses in one country to buy or merge with rivals in another. The terms of final compromise were bitterly opposed by officials from the European Commission, which wanted to see fewer restrictions on European cross border takeovers.

This report from Mark Gregory:

Earlier this week EU governments voted to bend the rules of the stability pact so that France and Germany wouldn't be penalised for breaking the rules on budget deficits. Now they've defied the wishes of the European Commission on another key aspect of economic policy.

After years of wrangling, EU industry ministers have approved a compromise framework for cross border mergers and takeovers that leaves many of the defences businesses use to avoid being bought out by rivals still in place.

It's a personal defeat for the EU's internal market commissioner Fritz Bolkestein who'd wanted a much tougher framework to promote economic efficiency through promoting cross border corporate deals. At an earlier stage Mr Bolkestein described the terms of final compromise as not worth the paper they were written on. Opposition to his plans was strong in Germany, where the prospect of national corporate icons like Volkswagen being gobbled up by foreign rivals caused consternation.

The watered down compromise that has been agreed leaves corporate defences such as multiple voting rights for some shares and limits on the rights of other shares in place. It could escalate trade tensions with the United States which sees barriers to the ability of American firms to buy out the competition as a form of unfair protectionism.

Mark Gregory, BBC

bend the rules
interpretó las reglas según su propia conveniencia

stability pact
pacto de estabilidad

key aspect
aspecto clave

wrangling
discusiones

compromise framework
un acuerdo para trabajar que satisface a todas las partes

cross border mergers and takeovers
compañías de diferentes países que se unen o que compañías que compran a otras en otros países

not worth the paper they were written on
no valen ni el papel en el que están escritos

gobbled up
tragó

watered down
diluido

escalate trade tensions
aumentar las tensiones comerciales



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