EU competition commissioner orders probe into Rover aid

The European Commission is planning to investigate UK Government aid granted to BMW as part of its £1.5bn investment in Rover’s Longbridge plant. According to Labour MEP Simon Murphy, EU competition commissioner Mario Monti will announce an investigation into the aid package on 22 December. The move follows suggestions that Rover’s owner, BMW, may have […]

The European Commission is planning to investigate UK Government aid granted to BMW as part of its £1.5bn investment in Rover’s Longbridge plant.

According to Labour MEP Simon Murphy, EU competition commissioner Mario Monti will announce an investigation into the aid package on 22 December.

The move follows suggestions that Rover’s owner, BMW, may have exaggerated the possibility that it was considering moving production to Hungary if government aid did not materialise. Such aid can only be granted if there is a definite possibility of the work moving out of the EU.

A delegation of West Midlands representatives met Mario Monti this week to argue for the £152m of aid to be approved.

An investigation could last between four and 18 months. `Even a four-month delay would be too long,’ said Murphy. `I am convinced the threat to move production is genuine.’