EC not happy with anti-competition merger

Competition laws in this country have always been designed to ensure that mergers between large companies could not result in an unfair outcome for the consumer or customer. Any single company having a monopoly on a particular industry will always lead to a lack of choice for the customer.

Now, it looks as though the Governments decision to completely ignore competition laws and best price on viagra allow the enter site generic cialis canada Lloyds takeover of HBOS has finally caught up with them. Left with a huge “superbank” and a litany of financial problems, the takeover seems to have been ill advised and if the exercise was to avoid public backlash, that could be about to cialis pills change also.

The history of the merger comes out of the financial chaos in the banking industry towards the end of last year. HBOS was on we recommend levitra generic the verge of collapse, with spiralling debts due to its borrowings which financed its mortgage lending.

The Government had two choices: bail out HBOS, as it had done with Northern Rock, and perhaps face a backlash from the public for spending taxes on yet another beleaguered bank. Or they could allow Lloyd TSB to take over HBOS by sidestepping the buy cialis online australia'>buy cialis online australia obvious competition law problems.

Taking the second option the Government chose to ignore a report from the Office of Fair Trading which argued that there were competition concerns and they went along with the Financial Services Authority who had suggested the merger would be in the interests of financial stability.

It has since been argued by the Chairman of the Financial Services Authority, that the merger could have been avoided by financial input from the Government. What’s an extra few billion amongst the getting viagra current billions in bail-outs? Gordon Brown has said that bailing out HBOS would have cost the country more than it has so far.

As part of the deal the Government paid the Lloyds group billions of pounds in state aid. The Government currently owns 43% of Lloyds. They may be looking at increasing that stake by changing preference shares to ordinary stock, which could lead to a bank which has the Government as a majority shareholder. How did that save us money?

Lloyds are now in very precarious position, despite having very healthy finances just one year ago. They have become the largest bank in the UK with 50% of the savings market, 25% of all British accounts and 28% of home loans. This may sound like a fantastic position for Lloyds, but they are struggling to soak up the mortgage black hole which HBOS brought with them and have already accounted for £13.4billion in bad debts this year.

The EU are not very happy with this chain of events and are currently making a decision on what should be done to the structure of Lloyds to once again encourage competition.

Neelie Kroes, the Competition Commissioner for the EU Executive is expected to how to get levitra in canada'>how to get levitra in canada suggest that Lloyds sell off the Halifax portion of the HBOS takeover. They are expected to make their decision within the next few weeks.

For Lloyds this would be a disaster. It is thought they would lose 20-25% of their 2010 profits and it would have significant impact on their operating profits. It is also thought that the Halifax arm was the reason that Lloyds wanted to buy HBOS, due to it’s huge mortgage portfolio. Halifax also boasts 1000 retail branches.

Lloyds would much prefer to part with Cheltenham & Gloucester branches and order viagra online usa a few minor holdings in Scotland – though this is unlikely to alleviate the competition problems. The other option would be for Lloyds to sell off the Halifax branches, while retaining the name.

There may well be problems with making a sale in the current market. Santander are seen as possible investors, but with them already the number two bank in the country – they would have their own competition issues.

So all in all, an almighty blunder for the Government and for Lloyds it seems. Whilst hoping to avoid bailing out HBOS they end up bailing out Lloyds TSB and now they have the visit our site generic viagra online canadian pharmacy EU breathing down their necks — and now it appears that there will be a fair chunk of Lloyds going for a song sometime soon.

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