BRUSSELS - Germany is to be granted an extra month to respond to legal steps by the European Commission against a law which protects Volkswagen from possible takeovers, officials said Wednesday.
The Commission, which polices competition policy throughout the European Union, in March sent a letter to the German government setting out its concerns over the regulation. Germany had two moths to respond.
"The German government has asked for an extension," European Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein told a news conference, without giving details.
But a Commission official added: "They have asked for an extra month and they will get it."
The Commission has said it was concerned that certain provisions of the law could restrict investment from other member states, violating EU treaty rules on the free movement of capital and the right of establishment.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has defended the law.
Analysts say the VW law is aimed at safeguarding more than 150,000 jobs in Europe's biggest economy and making sure the manufacturer does not fall under the control of a foreign rival.