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Alstom and Siemens : the EU Commission's German-French Fusion

In Berlin, the reactions were different: The Federal government regretted the decision by the EU Commission against the merger of the rail vehicle divisions of Siemens and Alstom. In the Headquarters of Bombardier Transportation, however, was delighted. The prohibition of the merger of the two competitors is good for train riders and taxpayers, because both groups "have paid the price for the merger," said the Bombardier Management.

The satisfaction of the canadian group, whose rail is controlled by the transport sector of Berlin, is understandable. Because before, in the late summer of 2017, Siemens and Alstom presented their plans, had Siemens, and Bombardier is negotiating a cooperation. At the highest political level - Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel - was, however, threaded in the German-French fusion project. To the Annoyance of the Canadians – and the antitrust authorities, which are now confirmed. The policy is duped. Berlin take the decision with Regret, said Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert. A globally competitive rail industry to remain a major industrial policy concern for Germany and Europe. The government will now work to modernize the antitrust laws with a view to globalization and digitalization.

The Minister intervened in vain

two weeks Ago, still had used Federal Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) and French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire for the merger and the concessions referred to, with which the two groups of EU competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager had come. Also, the corporations introduced on Wednesday in its opinion on the merger of their concessions, and ban into the field. "The package of measures was wide-ranging and has taken into account all of the EU-Commission's concerns expressed in terms of signal technology and high-speed trains (250km/h)", shared with Siemens and Alstom. "A number of renowned and well-established European players" have shown interest in the commitment package, and thus "its feasibility is confirmed". The merger would have brought "significant value" for the European railway industry, for customers, travelers and commuters, "without prejudice to the European competition".

in Addition, a group would have been created, "would have been able to cope with the increasing competition due to competition from non-European companies". The Chinese state is meant the group Seemed to CRRC, which was a few years ago in the Wake of a merger to the by far the world's largest train manufacturers.

The Commitments submitted to the EU

had been expected The prohibition of the merger, Alstom-Siemens for violations of the competition rules of the EU. The Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, made on Wednesday, that would have changed the conclusion of the market in the area of high-speed trains and the signaling system serious: "Siemens and Alstom are both heavyweights in the Zugtechnologie. A merger would have led to higher prices in the case of the signal technology, which ensures the safety of passengers of the next Generation of high-speed trains.“ The Commissioner made the companies, which together have a turnover of around 15 billion euros in the year and 65 000 employees, for the failure of the merger: "The two companies were not ready to propose measures, which would have dispelled the concerns."

The Commission had asked Siemens and Alstom, and to divest substantial Parts of their business so that a market is excluded in the dominant position. The Commission carried out since July with an intensive analysis, 800 000 documents studied, and with competitors and trade unions spoke. A merger wouldn't hurt the least the tax payers: "The state pays, in many countries, the rail infrastructure, the Commute would have been more expensive." Siemens and Alstom were each important players on the world market: "you win your tender, you are present, you can compete." In short: A Fusion is not required for international competitiveness, but a cabinets instead of the competition, at least in the EU.

fear of the Chinese

The Chinese state-owned group, CRRC together makes twice as much revenue as Siemens and Alstom, and could soon occur in Europe and the competitor of Siemens and Alstom. Vestager contradicts this reasoning: "The business of the CRRC is limited to 90 percent to China." The state of the group have so far sold only a few metros in the United States, whether in the field of signal technology in the EU and have not yet sold a single high speed train outside of China, said Vestager.

nevertheless, Federal Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) wants to start now, together with France, an Initiative to Amend EU competition law and the Merger: "It is important that Europe sets itself up so that we can represent our interests with any prospect of success in a market economy, competition in other countries around the world," said the German Minister on Wednesday. Vestager is not, however, maintains: "The Siemens/Alstom delivers the proof that we are the competition rules in the EU need to change."

IG Metall, criticized the EU sniper

The IG Metall Union, which is in favour of the merger and claims to be "extensive Commitments for the Deal" from Siemens and Alstom had received, criticized Brussels. "The EU has combined its market-liberal ideology, with internal centering overcome and to register, globalisation and geopolitics are also changing the conditions for employment and business in Europe," said Jürgen Kerner, chief cashier of the Union and a Board member of Siemens. The Union has for years been concerned about the jobs at the German locations. In Germany, 52 000 individuals, most of Siemens and Bombardier are working in the rail industry, but also Stadler has become an Industry leader and Alstom produced in Salzgitter. The Zuggeschäft Bombardier is controlled from Berlin, in Pankow Stadler builds, trains, and Siemens is strongly represented with the signal technology in the capital. "The question is whether we will be overrun by competitors or in Europe a counter-weight", had advertised the Association of the rail industry for the Fusion. In vain.

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