Latest Rail News

07.09.18

EU sets final deadline for Siemens and Alstom merger

The European Commission has set a deadline of 28 January for the proposed rail merger of Siemens and Alstom.

The deal was agreed last September but has been met by objections from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the ORR, both of whom argue that a merger between two of Europe’s largest rail companies could raise prices and lower competition.

The ORR welcomed the European Commission’s decision in August to open an in-depth investigation into the possible merger of the two companies, given that they would end up controlling around 75% of the British rail signalling market.

The regulator said: “ORR is concerned that if the merger were to go ahead, the combined business would become extremely powerful, and that competition in Great British markets would be significantly reduced, potentially adding significant costs to the detriment of passengers and taxpayers.”

Similar concerns are shared by the European Commission, with the ORR saying it would “engage closely” with Brussels.

The deadline had been suspended in early August but the EU has now set this new deadline, giving the companies until December to make their case against Brussels’ concerns.

Top image: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

 

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