Track and signalling


Siemens and Alstom offer to sell high-speed train technology to address EU antitrust concerns

Engineering giants Siemens and Alstom have offered to sell their high-speed train technology as part of a concession package to address EU antitrust objections over the proposed merger.

The German and French train companies submitted their concessions to the European Commission last week as they tried to quell concerns from the commission and industry rivals that the merger would negatively impact competition in the sector, with both Network Rail and the ORR speaking out against the move.

Now, sources close to the matter have revealed that the companies have offered to sell either one of their high-speed train technologies, as reported by Reuters.

The other major element of their proposal to the EU Commission consisted of selling the bulk of Alstom’s signalling business in Europe in addition to some of Siemens signalling assets, one source said.

In Siemens’ and Alstom’s statement last week, they said: “The proposed remedies include mainly signalling activities as well as rolling stock products and represent around 4% of the sales of the combined entity. The parties consider that the proposed remedy package is appropriate and adequate.”

Responding criticism from major players and competitors in the rail industry, the European Commission sent out an anti-trust warning with a series of objections to the merger in November, suggesting that Siemens and Alstom would likely need to sell a substantial part of their assets to secure EU approval.

This followed a full-scale investigation into the proposed deal over concerns that the new combined company would reduce competition in the supply of several train fleets and signalling systems.

The FT reported last week that Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, was unconvinced by the companies’ argument that the merger was necessary to fend off Chinese rivals.

Sources said that the companies have now offered to divest either Alstom’s Pendolino platform – a tilting technology which reduces braking before bends and is tailored for high-speed rail lines – or Siemen’s Velaro Novo platform.

The commission has given rivals and customers this week to submit feedback to the concessions, and more negative feedback could see it demand further action from Siemens and Alstom before it makes a ruling by 18 February.

Image credit - Sven Hoppe DPAPA Images

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


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Government gives ‘hugely important’ £208m Belfast Transport Hub the green light

22/03/2019Government gives ‘hugely important’ £208m Belfast Transport Hub the green light

A new £208m Belfast Transport Hub with major rail and bus connections has been granted planning permission by the Department of Infrastruct... more >
New to-the-minute measures for train punctuality introduced to tackle delays

22/03/2019New to-the-minute measures for train punctuality introduced to tackle delays

New measures of train punctuality are to be released by train operators and Network Rail next month in a bid to improve performance. The Rai... more >
FirstGroup finalises £100m order for Hitachi trains as plans for London-Edinburgh rail link move forward

22/03/2019FirstGroup finalises £100m order for Hitachi trains as plans for London-Edinburgh rail link move forward

FirstGroup has finalised a £100m order for Hitachi AT300 electric trainsets in a partnership between the two companies to create a new Lond... 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 >

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. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

The West Midlands 30-year strategy

19/03/2019The West Midlands 30-year strategy

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), outlines the West Midlands Rail Investment Strategy 2018-2047. The West Midlands Rail Executive was formed three years ago to give local authorities a direct influence over the award of the region’s main rail franchise. Working with the Department for Transpo... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


26-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

19/03/201926-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

After a nine-month national trial, the rail industry launched its seventh National Railcard for 26-30-year-olds on 2 January 2019. Rail Delivery ... more >
Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

19/03/2019Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

The world-renowned Caledonian Sleeper, due to begin operations at the end of spring 2019, completed its first Scotland to London journey earlier ... more >
East West Rail: the next steps

19/03/2019East West Rail: the next steps

In January, five route options for the central section of East West Rail were published as part of a public consultation on the next phase of the... more >
Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

19/03/2019Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

Jonathan Bray, director at the Urban Transport Group (UTG), argues that transit-oriented developments are the future – and that rail has a ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News


Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >