February 6, 2019 / 11:58 AM / 5 months ago

Germany presses for changes in EU competition rules after Siemens/Alstom deal blocked

BERLIN, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Europe should change its competition rules to facilitate cross-border mergers and create European champions which can compete with rivals from China and the United States, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Wednesday.

Siemens and Alstom’s plan to create a European rail champion collapsed on Wednesday after EU antitrust regulators rejected the deal, saying that it would have hurt competition and led to higher prices for consumers.

“We do respect the decision and the authority of the European Commission, but we are convinced that we must think about and decide on future changes of European competition rules,” Altmaier told reporters in Berlin.

“I’ve agreed with my French colleague Bruno Le Maire that we will prepare a joint Franco-German initiative that is aimed at getting an up-to-date adjustment of European competition law.”

Reporting by Michael Nienaber Editing by Michelle Martin

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