European Commission Blocks Mobility Merger
The European Commission has prohibited the proposed merger of Siemens Mobility and Alstom's mobility businesses on anti-trust grounds.
In her judgment, EU competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said the commission had received 'negative comments' from l National Competition Authorities across the European Economic Area (EEA), before adding:
"Millions of passengers across Europe rely every day on modern and safe trains. Siemens and Alstom are both champions in the rail industry. 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."
Europe's largest and second largest train manufacturers had previously argued anti-trust concerns voiced by the commission took insufficient account of the global competitive landscape, where both companies compete against Chinese state-backed company CRRC, which is the world's largest manufacturer of railway stock and has signalled an intention to play a more active role in the EEA region.
The merger would have created an undisputed market leader in railway signalling markets and created a dominant player in the very high-speed trains sector.
In a joint response to the commission's ruling, Siemens and Alstom re-iterated their argument that the transaction would have created "substantial value for the global mobility sector, the European railway industry, customers, travellers and commuters, without harming European competition."