Europe have referred to the economists leading the Competition, the offensive support of the proposed merger of Siemens with the French railway-competitors Alstom, the German and the French government as a concern. In particular, the announcement of possible initiatives for the easing of the European competition policy to encourage mergers of large European companies, is dangerous, write to 37 European economists in an open letter that is available ONLINE. Among others, the former chief economist of the EU Commission, belonging to the Directorate-General for competition, Massimo Motta, the düsseldorf-based economist Justus Haucap and the Mannheim competition economist Martin Peitz. have signed the letter “Competition policy should be independent of political (…) intervention,” – said in the Letter.
Federal Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU), had the prohibition of the Fusion of the ICE manufacturer Siemens with the French TGV manufacturers Alstom, the European Commission announced jointly with the French government, the competition law is subject to change. He said it was crucial “that we allow for the future mergers, which are important for the competitiveness of Europe on the international world markets,” said Altmaier.
On Tuesday, the CDU-politician presented his National industrial strategy, with the help of the Federal government, German companies, more than in the past with government measures to support. “The greater the economic damage, the stronger the state has to intervene,” said Altmaier. The objective of the plans is to make the large corporations mainly from the so – called High and key technologies because of the strong competition from the USA and China is fit for the competition on the world market. Necessary to the creation of a new “national and European Champions”.
“, Siemens and Alstom are already leading organization”
The competition law provisions in the EU would be the formation of national or European Champions are not in the way Economists write in your letter. The Argument that it was sufficient for the two companies to work together and to increase, in order to be on the international markets more competitive, is deceptive. “Siemens and Alstom are already among the leading companies on the international markets and already benefit from significant economies of scale and scope.”
Siemens and Alstom wanted to merge their railway divisions to become one of Europe’s largest producers and in international competition – especially with CRRC, the world’s largest train manufacturers from China. The EU-Commission, however, had significant concerns that the merger would be prejudicial to the internal competition in Europe and ultimately to the consumer.
The voices of the Economists in their Letter. An end to the competition between Siemens and Alstom would increase the profits, the merged entity would, however, appear less competitive on international markets, – said in the Letter. Finally, the train drivers and train driver would suffer: “you would have to pay higher prices and lower quality, and less technological progress, to get along.”