EU antitrust regulators expected to review Alstom-Siemens merger

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BRUSSELS, Belgium — Siemens’ and Alstom’s proposed merger is now in the sights of European Union regulators who are expected to pass judgment on whether a merged company — dubbed “Railbus” as a reference to Europe’s Airbus airplane maker — would satisfy EU antitrust laws, Bloomberg news reports.

Both companies, as well as the governments of Germany and France where they are located, have justified the merger as a way to keep European production competitive as Chinese firm CRRC Corp. gains more influence in the international market.

The news outlet reported that the deal is likely to be approved and that the crux of the companies’ legal argument rests in urging the EU to consider that the CRRC Corp. might become a substantial competitor if it attempts to expand to Europe. Both companies may possibly be required to sell off a portion of their properties to meet the antitrust requirements.

Representatives from Alstom have said that they will begin the process of making a formal petition to EU anti-trust regulators in March 2018. If European officials approve the petition for the companies to merge, the new company will have a combined net worth of $18 billion, which will put it ahead of rival companies such as Bombardier but still behind the net worth of CRRC Corp.

All three companies have operations around the world, including in North America. Siemens has an extensive relationship with Amtrak and now has orders to build intercity passenger coaches. Alstom is set to build the next generation of high-speed passenger equipment in the U.S. CRRC, meanwhile, is expected to deliver its first heavy-rail cars for Boston's MBTA. No company has an equivalent U.S.-based competitor.

See the original article online.
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