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EU: France, Germany consider EU Council veto on antitrust rulings

 |  February 19, 2019

France and Germany on Tuesday, February 19, suggested giving the European Council—which includes Member States’ leaders—the right to override the decisions of the European Commission on competition in some situations, to boost the European companies’ ability to compete internationally.

Berlin and Paris want to overhaul EU mergers rules following the European Commission’s veto of efforts by Siemens and Alstom to create a European rail champion to compete with larger foreign rivals.

“We must continue to argue for a fairer and more effective global level playing field, but in the meantime, we need to ensure our companies can actually grow and compete. This entails changes to existing European competition rules. France and Germany suggest examining different options… Consider whether a right of appeal of the Council which could ultimately override Commission decisions could be appropriate in well-defined cases, subject to strict conditions,” the manifesto, published by the German finance ministry, read.

In a Franco-German joint proposal released on Tuesday, the two countries also suggested updating current merger guidelines to take greater account of competition at the global level rather than at the European level.
Full Content: Reuters

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