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EU Commission blocks merger deal between Alstom & Siemens

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EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager voiced her concerns about the effect this merger might have on the European rail industry on 16 January, with a number of national anti-trust watchdogs, including Germany's Federal Cartel Office, reportedly speaking out against the deal as well. reports citing Sputnik.

The European Commission has banned the Siemens and Alstom deal, which envisaged a merger of both companies' assets in the field of railway engineering, due to fears of competition in signaling systems and high-speed trains, the Commission said in a statement.

"Europe urgently needs structural reform… protecting customer interests locally must not mean that Europe cannot be on a level playing field with leading nations like China, the United States, and others", Siemens chief executive Joe Kaeser said, after Brussels rejected months of arguments that the merger was needed to face down competition from Beijing-backed behemoth CRRC.

In January, French government spokesman Benjamin Grievaux stated that the EC's refusal to allow the deal to go ahead would be an economic and political error. He stressed that the European Union had to be able to set up its own businesses capable of competing with China's railway giant CRRC.

The companies announced the decision to merge their rail businesses in 2017, stating that the revenue of the new company is expected to amount to 15.3 billion euros ($18 billion).

2019.02.06 / 15:34
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