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EC opens in-depth investigation into Siemens proposed acquisition of Alstom

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Staff Writer | Friday July 13, 2018 4:17PM ET
Acquisition   The Commission is concerned...

The European Commission (EC) has opened an in-depth investigation to assess the proposed acquisition of Alstom by Siemens, under the EU Merger Regulation.

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The Commission is concerned that the merger may reduce competition in the supply of several types of trains and signalling systems.

Siemens and Alstom are global leaders in rail transportation. Both companies have a wide product portfolio and compete in tenders for the manufacture and supply of:

- high speed, mainline and urban rolling stock (trains). High speed rolling stock includes trains operated for long-distance travel at speeds above 250 km/h, mainline rolling stock includes intercity and regional trains and urban rolling stock includes metros and trams.

- mainline and urban signalling solutions. Signalling solutions include signalling systems that provide safety controls on mainline and urban rail networks.

The proposed transaction would combine the two largest suppliers of rolling stock and signalling solutions in the European Economic Area (EEA) not only in terms of size of the combined operations, but also in terms of geographic footprint of their activities.

At this stage, the Commission is concerned that the proposed transaction would reduce competition in the markets where the merged entity would be active.

In particular, the Commission is concerned that the proposed transaction could lead to higher prices, less choice and less innovation due to reduced competitive pressure in rolling stock and signalling tenders.

This would be to the detriment of train operators, infrastructure managers and ultimately European passengers who use trains and metros on a daily basis.

Furthermore, at this stage the Commission has found that the entry of new competitors into the EEA rolling stock or signalling solutions markets, including in particular of potential Chinese suppliers, appears unlikely to occur in the foreseeable future.

The Commission will now carry out an in-depth investigation into the effects of the transaction to determine whether its initial competition concerns are confirmed.

The transaction was notified to the Commission on 8 June 2018. The Commission now has 90 working days, until 21 November 2018, to take a decision. The opening of an in-depth investigation does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.


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