EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on October 9 that she wants to hear further arguments against a planned merger France’s Alstom and Siemens of Germany – two of the world’s largest industrial manufacturing companies – a move that would create a Franco-German power broker in the field of rolling stock and locomotive production.
The Commission opened an inquiry into the merger as it feared the creation of such a powerful conglomerate would reduce competition for the supply of several types of trains and signalling systems, as Vestager explained to MEPs during a committee hearing on Economic and Monetary Affairs.
“People are anxious to tell us that this is a very big company in Europe, but the investigation is still underway and we hope that anyone who is worried will tell us,” Vestager said at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Announced in September 2017, Siemens and Alstom aim to merge their rail activities to better compete with the rapid expansion of China’s CRRC.
Vestager added that the European Commission will look at the position of other global industry groups in Europe to see if they are able to exert any competitive pressure on the new entity, putting a deadline on 28 January 2019 for the EU executive to express its thoughts on the merger.