Mitigating Antitrust Risk in M&A Transactions –Key Takeaways from the EU Commission’s Veto of the Alstom/Siemens Railway Merger

Overview


In September 2017, Alstom and Siemens intended to create a “European Champion” through a merger of their respective rail activities. The European Commission (“Commission”) blocked the proposed merger on February 6, 2019, despite the French and German governments being strongly in favor of the transaction. The Commission found that the deal gave rise to com-petition concerns in the markets for the manufacturing of railway signaling systems and for high speed/ very high-speed trains. The Commission found that consumers would have been harmed as a result of reduced choice of supplier and products. Potential competition from China Railway Rolling Stock Corp (“CRRC”) was still too uncertain and could therefore not be taken into account as an attenuating factor.

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