Katainen ‘open’ to consider tweaks to competition policy

European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen told journalists on Tuesday that he would be “open” to consider changes to update competition law in order to cope with the strong competition of US and China firms, but discarded the idea of reforming antitrust rules “entirely” as they worked “well”.

Katainen, who is in charge of Jobs, Growth and Investment, said that he understood member states’ demands to review EU anti-trust rules, given the fierce competition they faced from abroad.

19 EU countries call for new antitrust rules to create 'European champions'

A total of 19 EU governments have proposed updating the EU’s antitrust rules in order to facilitate the emergence of European industrial giants able to face “fierce competition” from the US and China.

France is one of the most vocal countries in this crusade to change EU’s antitrust rules. Paris is particularly keen to get the Commission’s green light for the Alstom-Siemens merger. However, antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager has expressed her concerns about creating a railway giant.

Alstom, Siemens merge to create new European rail champion

The maker of France’s TGV trains announced Tuesday (26 September) a “merger of equals” with German industrial leader Siemens in a giant and politically tricky deal to create a new European rail champion.

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