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General Electric Co. says the board of France’s Alstom SA has approved GE’s $17 billion offer to buy Alstom’s power generation business. GE says in a statement that if shareholders and workers’ representatives approve, the deal will close sometime next year. GE says it was informed of the decision on Saturday. On Friday, the French government dropped objections and supported the company’s offer. Alstom has favored a tie-up with GE but had to postpone signing any deal while the government intervened to seek assurances on jobs and decision-making.

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