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(Reuters) General Electric (GE.N), German drugmaker Merck KGaA (MRCG.DE), and Japan's Canon (7751.T) risk hefty fines after EU antitrust regulators accused them of providing misleading information during separate merger deals.

The European Commission said on Thursday that it had sent three separate charge sheets known as statements of objections to General Electric, Merck KGaA and Canon after investigations showed breaches of the bloc's merger rules.

While the charges will not affect the EU approvals of the deals, they could lead to fines of up to 1 percent of global revenue for Merck KGaA and General Electric, and up to 10 percent for Canon.

GE was charged with providing misleading research and development information related to its takeover of Danish rotor blade maker LM Wind this year which secured the EU green light in March.

GE's research involved an offshore turbine that generates more than 10 megawatts, larger than the 6-megawatt offshore version that GE currently sells and that it acquired in its purchase of power assets from Alstom.

The research was deemed relevant to both GE's purchase of LM Wind and Siemen's purchase of wind turbine maker Gamesa. The commission and GE are discussing the objections and potential fine, a process expected to last until September or October, according to people familiar with the case.

 

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