EC clears Acer-Packard Bell union

EC clears Acer-Packard Bell union

Acer will pole-vault into third place in global PC standings after EC rules deal will not hinder competitiveness of marketplace

The European Commission has cleared the way for Acer's purchase of Packard Bell after ruling that the deal will not encroach on the competitiveness of the marketplace.

Last year, US vendor Gateway, which had just been bought by Acer for $710m (£358m), agreed to acquire a controlling stake in PB Holdings, the parent company of Packard Bell. This put an end to rumours that the Netherlands-based manufacturer was to be bought by Chinese giant Lenovo.

The deal with Gateway allowed Acer to overtake Lenovo and move into third spot in the global PC market, behind HP and Dell.

On Acer's acquisition of Packard Bell, the European Commission issued a statement saying: "The commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition.

"The commission's examination showed that the proposed merger would entail horizontal overlaps for desktops and laptops, both for professionals and consumers. However, the market would remain competitive post-merger in all segments of the PC sector with established alternative suppliers such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, Toshiba, Sony and Lenovo."