The European Commission has cleared the joint acquisition of the Italian company VM Motori by the US-based Penske Group and DaimlerChrysler AG of Germany.

VM Motori, a subsidiary of Detroit Diesel Corporation of the US, designs, manufactures and sells light and medium-duty diesel engines for the motor industry and for certain other industries. Because Penske is engaged in car dealership, car and truck rentals, fleet management and auto-racing while DaimlerChrysler is active in a number of automotive and aerospace sectors, financial services and power systems, Commission officials said the deal – which was notified on January 13, and had been examined by the Brussels take-over office – would not “affect competition in the European diesel engine market.”

Brussels said neither of the new parent companies was prominent in this activity, which in any case was dominated by the major car manufacturers. As a result, the deal was cleared under the EU’s simplified merger review procedures.

By Alan Osborn