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Siemens Alstom merger blocked by European Commission

Siemens Alstom merger blocked by European Commission

18 February 2019

The European Commission has blocked the proposed merger of Siemens Mobility and Alstom, saying the companies had not offered sufficient remedies to address its concerns about the impact on competition in the signalling and very high speed train markets. 'Siemens and Alstom are both champions in the rail industry', explained Commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager when she made the announcement on February 6. 'Without sufficient remedies, this merger would have resulted in higher prices for the signalling systems that keep passengers safe and for the next generations of very high speed trains. The Commission prohibited the merger because the companies were not willing to address our serious competition concerns'. The decision followed an in-depth investigation by the Commission, which had received numerous objections from customers, competitors, industry associations and trade unions, along with negative comments from several national competition authorities. The Commission concluded that the merger would create an 'undisputed' leader in the supply of mainline and urban signalling including ETCS and CBTC, and a 'dominant' player in the market for trains capable of 300 km/h and above in the European Economic Area and the rest of the world, except for South Korea, Japan and China 'which are not open to competition'. Also details responses from Siemens and Alstom.