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Volkswagen says Protected From Takeovers

A senior adviser to the European Union's highest court said Tuesday the German government is excessively protecting automaker Volkswagen AG, preventing any takeover of the business.

"The German Government's approach is ... not based on overriding reasons relating to the public interest," said Advocate General Damaso Ruiz-Jarabo Colomer. Although not binding, the full court backs the advocate general in about 80 percent of the cases.

"The German law dissuades those wishing to acquire a significant number of shares in the company," a court statement on the legal opinion said. The ruling, expected for later this year, is seen as a major test case to establish to what extent EU governments can protect companies they see as vital to their economy.

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