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U.S.-European Dispute Over Boeing Looms

AEROSPACE | NATION / WORLD

July 17, 1997|(Washington Post)

The Clinton administration is considering how to retaliate against Europe if it carries out its threat to try to undermine the merger of U.S. aerospace giants Boeing Co. and McDonnell Douglas Corp. At a White House meeting this week, officials agreed to put the full weight of the government behind Boeing now that it has the Federal Trade Commission's approval for the $15-billion merger. In Brussels, antitrust regulators from all 15 European Union member countries reaffirmed opposition to the merger, arguing that it would leave Boeing with two-thirds of the global market for commercial airplanes and threaten the survival of its only other rival, Airbus Industrie, the European consortium. Next Wednesday is the deadline for action by the European Commission, the EU's executive body, which earlier this week said it could not accept the merger as proposed. The commission has no authority to block a merger of two U.S. firms, but it could impose a fine on Boeing of more than $4 billion.

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