EU investigates planned merger of Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp
by David Fleschen
The deal between Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp shall create Europe's second-biggest steelmaker after ArcelorMittal. The planned merger includes the UK's biggest steelworks, at Port Talbot in Wales, and has been welcomed by unions. But according to the European Commission the deal could also lead to higher prices and fewer suppliers in Europe.
Accoring to a BBC coverage, the European Commission now said that it was concerned that combining Tata and ThyssenKrupp's European carbon steel and electrical steel businesses could result in market dominance. "Steel is a crucial input for many of the goods we use in our everyday life, and competitive steel prices are vital for the European economy," Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told BBC.
A Thyssenkrupp spokesperson said an in-depth probe was to be expected given the size of the deal and that it would continue to work closely with the Commission.
The merged firm would be called Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel and be based in the Netherlands. According to the rating agency Moody´s thenew venture would account for just 14% of European crude steel production, far behind ArcelorMittal's 29%.
Thyssenkrupp Tata Steel would have annual revenues of about €15bn (£13bn) and 48,000 employees across 34 sites, producing about 21 million tonnes of steel a year.
Brussels now has 90 working days, until 19 March, to reach a decision.
Source: BBC; photo: fotoalia
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