Changing a monolithic culture like the EU will be a challenge
All in the name of cross-border industry consolidation.
“Sometimes there is nothing more stupid than European rules.” So said Bruno Le Maire, France’s Minister of the Economy and Finance, at a press conference on Tuesday. Le Maire and the government he serves are still smarting from the European Competition Commission’s decision two weeks ago to reject, on antitrust grounds, the long-anticipated merger of German and French industrial giants Siemens and Alstom.
The EU’s competition authority ruled that the proposed tie-up would have spawned an “undisputed” market leader in several mainline signalling markets, while also reducing the number of suppliers of high-speed rolling stock. Over the past 30 or so years the Commission has approved more than 6,000 merger deals and blocked fewer than 30.
What makes this one special is that it was greatly sought after by the governments of the EU’s two most influential Member States, Germany and France. And…
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