France, Germany Ramp Up Pressure Over Alstom – Siemens Deal

France and Germany raised pressure on the European Union’s competition chief to approve the merger of Alstom and Siemens’ rail businesses, warning that thwarting the proposed European champion would be a strategic error.

People familiar with the matter told Reuters that Siemens’ and Alstom’s plan to create a European rail champion to take on a Chinese rival had failed to win over EU antitrust regulators, despite German and French backing.

Comments from politicians reflect a frustration that the EU’s competition laws no longer reflect modern-day geopolitical realities, and in particular the threat from China.

“We need international champions in Europe that are able to compete globally”, said German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier.