February 6, 2019 / 9:20 AM / 5 months ago

EU competition chief to give news conference on merger cases at 1045 GMT

FILE PHOTO: European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager speaks during an interview with Reuters at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager will hold a news conference in Brussels concerning two merger cases at around 1045 GMT, the European Commission said on Wednesday, without providing further details.

Vestager is expected to announce the Commission’s veto of the planned merger of the rail businesses of Siemens and Alstom, and of a proposed copper deal between Aurubis and Wieland-Werke AG.

The deals are seen as hurting competition, sources told Reuters. Siemens and Alstom had wanted to combine their rail operations to compete more effectively with China’s state-owned CRRC Corp Ltd on the global stage.

Aurubis, Europe’s biggest copper smelter, was wanting to sell its flat rolled copper products business to Germany’s Wieland so it can expand into other metals besides copper.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee and Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Alastair Macdonald

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