May 22, 2019 / 9:51 AM / 5 months ago

EU's Vestager to brief other EU commissioners on steel market

FILE PHOTO: A steel worker of Germany's industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp AG which holds its annual shareholders meeting on Friday February 1, 2019, takes a sample of raw iron from a blast furnace at Germany's largest steel factory in Duisburg, Germany, January 28, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe’s antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, who has scrutinised mergers involving steel producers, will share her insights of the steel market with her European Commission colleagues on Wednesday.

The move came as world No. 1 steelmaker ArcelorMittal warned of a weak market in Europe and announced a cut in its European steel output while British Steel, Britain’s second largest steel company, risks collapse with 25,000 jobs at stake.

“The steel market as such is of great interest to the Commission. You have seen all the work done by Katainen over the years. So this is a good occasion to do a sort of state of play of the steel market as such,” Vestager told reporters before the Commissioners’ meeting.

Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen has been involved in a number of steel and aluminium dumping cases.

Vestager, who is expected next month to block a planned steel joint venture between German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp and Tata Steel for failing to address competition concerns, said the deal was not part of the discussion.

Her team has also looked into ArcelorMittal’s purchase of Italian producer Ilva.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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