Latest Rail News


Siemens CEO says it is ‘willing to make concessions’ to secure EU approval for Alstom merger

The chief executive of Siemens has said he is “willing to make concessions” if necessary in order to gain EU approval for its proposed rail merger with Alstom.

Joe Kaeser, head of the German rail giant speaking at Siemens’ annual press conference where it releases its financial figures for the year, said he was relaxed about the EU Commissions’ objections to the merger.

Kaeser said the deal made economic sense but that if the antitrust regulators quash the deal, then “we were willing to make concessions, that still holds true,” as reported in the Financial Times.

Last week, the commission sent a series of objections to the merger to both Siemens and Alstom, which increases the likelihood of the companies having to sell of some their assets to secure EU approval.

This follows the EU Commission launching a full-scale investigation into the merger over the concerns that the combined company may reduce competition in the supply of trains and signalling systems.

The French and German companies proposed the merger last September to create a global train manufacturer which would be capable of competing with Chinese rail companies, but many within the UK rail industry, including Network Rail and the ORR, have criticised the deal.

But when asked by a reporter if he was angry the deal was being stonewalled by regulators, Kaeser replied that if anything he was relaxed and said that his focus was on the ongoing dialogue between his company and the antitrust authorities.

Kaeser said that “certain interests must be reconciled,” but that if following the discussions the deal fell through, then this would not rule out the merger.

He said: “We think it’s the best solution; if it doesn’t materialise we will find other solutions.”

Siemens and Alstom have until mid-December to offer remedies that address the EU Commission’s objections, with a deadline of 28 January 2019 set for a decision on the merger.

Network Rail’s chief executive Andrew Haines wrote to the commission last month asking it to intervene in the merger, which he called “one of the most significant threats to our operations at present.”

Haines said that the deal “stands to do great harm to the railways in Great Britain,” but if it could not be prevented then the only way to restore competition would be an appropriate structural divestment, with the new company forced into substantial asset sales.

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Image credit - Sven Hoppe/DPA/PA Images


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

RAIB, ORR and BTP all launch investigations after rail worker is killed by train

22/11/2018RAIB, ORR and BTP all launch investigations after rail worker is killed by train

The ORR, RAIB and the BTP have all launched investigations after a railway worker died when he was struck by a train at Stoats Nest Junction, Sur... more >
Crossrail could need even more bailout cash as Khan lashes out at ‘unfit’ governance

22/11/2018Crossrail could need even more bailout cash as Khan lashes out at ‘unfit’ governance

The capital’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, has revealed that the delayed and financially troubled Crossrail project will need even more cash injectio... more >
Coventry station £82m masterplan given the go-ahead by city council

21/11/2018Coventry station £82m masterplan given the go-ahead by city council

Groundbreaking plans to transform Coventry city centre and Coventry station have been given the official green light from the city’s counci... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News


HS2 train race: making the case

20/11/2018HS2 train race: making the case

Bombardier and Hitachi’s commitment to providing the best HS2 rolling stock pitch to the government was signified with the launch of their ... more >
Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

09/11/2018Finding positives in negative short-circuiting devices

Sponsored interview  Anything that brings about safety and time-saving benefits is a valued improvement for the rail industry, which is w... more >
Taking to the skies

30/10/2018Taking to the skies

Network Rail’s commitment to driving innovation is best encapsulated by its latest scheme involving high-definition imagery drones, or UAVs... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Crossrail and Crossrail 2: in the public eye

20/11/2018Crossrail and Crossrail 2: in the public eye

Since the shock announcement of the delay to Crossrail in September, taxpayers and decision-makers alike have been anxious to find out the latest... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Introducing iPort

20/11/2018Introducing iPort

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal. The UK’s newest inland rail ... more >
Maintaining light rail

20/11/2018Maintaining light rail

Dr Adam Bevan, Professor Paul Allen and Professor Jay Jaiswal, of the Institute of Railway Research, take a look at new rail asset management tec... more >
dessan Design in the digital railway

20/11/2018dessan Design in the digital railway

Denise Watkins, business development manager at Hitachi Information Control Systems Europe (HICSE), discusses her organisation’s exciting n... more >
Challenging the perceptions of rail

13/11/2018Challenging the perceptions of rail

Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Rail Industry Association (RIA) explains how the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is challenging people’... more >