Hollande says EADS merger decision was by companies

PARIS, Oct 10 (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollandesaid on Wednesday that a decision to end merger talks betweenEADS and Britain's BAE Systems lay with thosecompanies and the government's intervention was limited tostating its conditions.

Hollande told a news conference it was not his place to givea positive or a negative reaction to news the deal had collapsedbut said the French government would continue to support EADS,in which it has a 15 percent stake.

"As an EADS shareholder France set out a number ofconditions so the company heads knew what we could accept andwhat we could not accept," he said, citing a will to retain astake in the merged group and protect jobs and defenceinterests. "It was up to them to make their decision."

(Reporting By Catherine Bremer; Editing by Brian Love)

((catherine.bremer@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 4949 5242; ReutersMessaging: catherine.bremer@thomsonreuters.com.reuters.net))