European Commission raises objections to Siemens-Alstom rail merger

The European Union’s antitrust regulator is reported to have raised several objections to the planned merger of the rail operations of Siemens and Alstom to create a Franco-German rail champion.

Reports quoting an EU Commission spokesman said on Wednesday that the regulator has sent a statement of objections to the parties in the Siemens/Alstom case, adding that the investigation is going on.
The regulatory objections, which follow a full-scale investigation into the deal in July, may force Siemens and Alstom to make specific concessions to address market concerns, which may include sale of some assets, say reports.
Alstom makes the TGV high-speed train while Siemens makes ICE high-speed trains.  A combination of the two leading companies will shut competition out, say rival manufacturers.
A Siemens spokesman is reported to have confirmed receiving the Commission’s objections. “We are still confident that we can conclude this transaction in the first half of 2019,” a Siemens spokesman said
Alstom also said the company had responded to the Commission’s objections, but said, it is not the final decision of the European Commission.
The Commission has set a 28 January 2019 deadline for completing its in-depth investigation.
The merger plan announced by German industrial group Siemens and French rival Alstom in September last year, had the backing of French President Emmanuel Macron.