Siemens-Alstom merger is still on the brink as the companies remained failed to be influential with their antitrust concessions to the EU’s antitrust commissioner.
For couple of weeks Siemens and Alstom are going through facing the swings in their merger deal, with ups and downs that are prompting frequently.
The European Commission has repeatedly raised its concerns over the merger of two tech giants of the Europe that it will build such a rail giant that would dominate the market leaving the rolling stock and signaling market effectively anti competitive for the other smaller players.
And for those concerns, Siemens and Alstom came up with a concession package which includes rolling stocks, signaling activities and offering of their high-speed rail technologies. But ORR and Network Rail, who are against the merger and stated their opposition publically, along with national competition authorizes of five countries have agreed with the stance of EU that the concessions being offered by the both companies are not sufficient.
On last Friday, EU’s antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s team, who was not swayed by the concessions made by the Franco-German companies, were prepared to veto the proposed merger. But in a press conference on Monday, she despite showing her concern over significant delay in the process, showed her consent to consider any new proposal from the companies.
The deal got the French as well as German backing as favorably spoken out by German economy minister Peter Altmaier and French finance minister Bruno Le Maire, before their meeting with Vestager.
Le Maire called it “the moment of truth” and said: “The German and French governments are in favour of the merger as are the heads of Siemens and Alstom. It’s the best response to the rising power of the Chinese in the rail sector.”
Altmaier told Reuters: “We need international champions in Europe that are able to compete globally. Talks are in an important phase and we will do everything so that this project has a chance.”
Last week, Reuters was told by a source from the Siemens that to the potential rejection of deal by the antitrust commissioner, the company was prepared to walk away because commercial goals of the company would be affected for offering any further concession.
But the Siemens is still hopeful for the success of merger deal as Joe Kaeser, the CEO of Siemens, told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday that,
“I’m really curious on how it turns out, and still, sort of, optimistic because we have smart people, the Commissioner is very well aware that this is important,”