January 16, 2019 / 8:00 PM / 2 years ago

Germany says Siemens-Alstom deal to help European rail industry compete

FILE PHOTO: Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alstom, and Siemens President and CEO Joe Kaeser attend a news conference to announce their deal to merge their rail operations, creating a European champion, in Paris, France, September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government views a proposed merger of France’s Alstom (ALSO.PA) and Siemens’ (SIEGn.DE) rail business as important for securing the competitiveness of the European rail industry, a German government spokesman said on Wednesday.

But he also said it was the European Commission’s responsibility to review the antitrust implications of the Franco-German deal.

France on Wednesday said a decision by the commission to block the merger would be a mistake. Antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager voiced doubts in December about the impact of the merger on other high-speed trains.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Andrea Shalal

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