A PYMNTS Company

France: Officials want relaxed antitrust rules after Alstom buy

 |  June 29, 2014

France is calling for more lenient antitrust rules from the European Commission following the nation’s failed plans to create a new energy and transport conglomerate through a merger with Alstom.

Germany’s Siemens had battled with the US’s General Electric to merge with Alstom; Siemens, reports say, had sought to acquire Alstom’s energy assets and leave its transport operations to spearhead France’s efforts for a new, trans-European railway.

But ultimately, General Electric won over Alstom, even after France forced GE to delay its bid and allow Siemens to make a counter offer. Siemens eventually abandoned the pursuit over fears the deal would be blocked by the Commission.

France is now encouraging member states to elect the next competition commissioner that shares a similar policy orientation with France, reports say.

France’s saga exemplifies a disconnect between the needs of member states and the EU; he EU is looking to foster competition, while individual member states are seeking a strengthening of their domestic markets, reports say.

Full content: Wall Street Journal

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.