February 6, 2019 / 10:45 AM / 6 months ago

EU blocks Siemens and Alstom, Aurubis and Wieland deals

BRUSSELS, Feb 6 (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators vetoed on Wednesday Siemens and Alstom’s plan to create a European rail champion, saying that the combined merged company would have hurt competition and led to price hikes in signalling systems.

The European Commission also blocked a bid by German copper company Wieland-Werke AG to buy a business unit from Aurubis , Europe’s biggest copper smelter, because it could have reduced competition and pushed up consumer prices.

“Without sufficient remedies, this merger would have resulted in higher prices for the signalling systems that keep passengers safe and for the next generations of very high-speed trains,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.

She said the companies were not willing adequately to address the regulator’s serious competition concerns. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)

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