Takeovers: Troubled Waters?

Troubled Waters?

Nestle outfought Italy's Agnelli family last week in a trans-European bidding battle over Source Perrier of France -- but the victory may get the Swiss food giant into, well, hot water. Suspecting a violation of European Community competition rules, the E.C. Mergers Task Force in Brussels has opened an investigation into the $2.7 billion takeover.

The Task Force believes the acquisition of Perrier, the world's leading brand of mineral water, with 20% of the market, gives Nestle half of all bottled-water sales in France. Perrier also owns Poland Spring, Great Bear and Arrowhead in the U.S. The panel will also look...

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