Wednesday , November 25 2020

EU competition authorities prohibit the merger between Siemens and Alstom "DiePresse.com



The association of the German group Siemens with the French Alstom in the train company has failed. The EU Commission has banned the merger on Wednesday after the two partners have not obtained sufficient concessions to take into account the supreme competition authority Margrethe Vestager. It contradicts criticism of the ban on injury. The EU rules are there to ensure open and fair competition in Europe, said Vestager on Wednesday in Brussels.

"Our companies remain so aware that a company will not be able to compete abroad if it does not compete at home." Politicians and business leaders accuse Vestager of impeding the creation of European flagship companies that could do better internationally.

Vestager was concerned about a well-functioning competition in the industry. Especially for high-speed trains and in signal technology, Siemens and Alstom would together have been almost without competition. "Without appropriate remedies, the merger would have resulted in higher prices for signaling equipment that would ensure passenger safety and for the next generations of high-speed trains," the Dane said. But Siemens and Alstom were not ready.

The manufacturers of high-speed train ICE (Siemens) and TGV (Alstom) wanted better with the merger, announced in September 2017, the Chinese state-owned company CRRC Paroli, which is about twice the size of the two Europeans along with a turnover of 30 billion euros. Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser talked about "the end of a European lighthouse project". But Vestager did not believe in him that the Chinese would soon compete seriously against the Germans and the French in Europe: "As far as high-speed trains are concerned, the Commission finds it very unlikely that new competitors from China will exert competitive pressure on the parties for the foreseeable future." not yet happened in Europe. The biggest competitor, the Canadian bombarder, welcomed the decision.

No movement

Siemens and Alstom had already adopted a veto from Brussels. "The Commission has not moved much when it made its first assessment," it said in negotiating circles. The EU called for concessions that would make the merger unprofitable. Vestager, on the other hand, pointed out that Siemens' proposal to license the new generation of Velaro ICE platform for more than a decade would not have made the buyers develop a competitive move. Siemens stressed that "a number of well-known and established European suppliers" were interested.

Alstom chief Henri Poupart-Lafarge had already completed a new trial on Tuesday. "There is no other chance." Siemens said it "now is the time to consider every opportunity for the future of Siemens Mobility and to choose the best solution for customers, employees and shareholders." The group is considering financial circles, the already outsourced Mobility department alone to bring to the stock market. She experiences a contract boom. The industrial group from Munich would have had a good 50 percent of the shares in Siemens Alstom.

Criticism of Vestager

Siemens chief Kaeser had strongly criticized Vestager for their refusal. On Wednesday, he said the decision shows "that Europe needs structural reforms to a great extent to be able to cope financially in a global interconnected world in the future." The merger was called "Airbus der Schiene", which is analogous to the merger between German, French and Spanish companies in a European aircraft manufacturer at the beginning of the millennium.

But the employment of the Economy Ministers from Germany and France, Peter Altmaier and Bruno Le Maire, for Siemens and Alstom were in vain. But the decision should burn the political debate on whether the EU antitrust law is still updated in global competition. Le Maire called the EU antitrust law "outdated" on Wednesday. It only uses global competitors. Kaeser claimed that it was better to falsify strong companies in Europe than to seal their own market against foreign competition. He called for an opportunity to reverse EU cartel decisions for political reasons – like the German "ministerial authorization".

(APA / Reuters)


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