Germany: Siemens/Alstom deal could increase competitiveness

FILE PHOTO: German Economic Affairs and Energy Federal Minister Peter Altmaier addresses the media in Berlin, Germany, July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

MUNICH (Reuters) - German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday that the aim of a planned merger of Alstom ALSO.PA and Siemens' SIEGn.DE rail businesses was to increase competitiveness, adding that this goal was achievable.

Altmaier said he had already spoken to European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager about the deal and the process on the possible merger was in a decisive phase.

People familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday 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.

Reporting by Joern Poltz; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Joseph Nasr