Germany & France face hurdles to reform EU anti-trust rules


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Germany & France face hurdles to reform EU anti-trust rules

Following the veto of European Commission earlier this week, that blocked the Siemens-Alstom merger deal, vying to create a European rain champion in order to compete with larger foreign rivals, Germany and France have been seeking ways to reform the EU merger rules.

From France’s perspective, France would want a broader definition of the relevant markets, meanwhile powers for EU ministers to overrule an EU commission decision. Besides, the Germany’s view has been to overhaul the eurozone’s financial market from a global viewpoint, leaving behind the solely European view, so the companies could fight better against their rivals from outside, in particular China.

Apart from that, Germany has been seeking a more defensive policy on its industry’s “how-to-do” & “what-to-do”, without letting the foreign companies know about the industry secrets, on which much of its financial wealth has been built.

When it comes to EU merger rules, an EU commission rule drafted in 1989 and revised in 2004, said that a merger could not reduce competitions and push up the price, while the regulators would have three options, clear the deal out of the bloc, wave it through the concessions or block the deal.

Since, multiple mergers would eventually push up the price for the consumers and impair market competition, an overhaul of the EU merger rules seems to be a long way ahead.