The European Union’s powerful antitrust authority blocked the merger of German industrial conglomerate Thyssenkrupp with steel giant Tata in order to “avoid serious harm to European industrial customers and consumers” the European Commissioner for competition, Margrethe Vestager, said, while adding that the Commission was forced to block the merger as the two companies never withdrew their request despite both sides having abandoned the deal.
“Steel is crucial for many things we use in our everyday life, such as canned food and cars. Millions of people in Europe work in these sectors and companies depend on competitive steel prices to sell on a global level,” said Vestager, but this merger “would have reduced competition and increased prices for different types of steel products”.
The merger would have created the second largest European steel company behind multinational giant ArcelorMittal, a move that would have put EU companies in a position to compete with Chinese steel companies.
According to the Commission, the 50:50 joint venture would have cut choice and raised prices for speciality steel used in the car industry and the coated steel used for food packaging.