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EU merger vetoes prompt calls to change the rules
07 February 2019 00:00
Two merger prohibitions by the European Commission this week have ushered in a political debate about whether competition rules need to change. The veto of the Siemens-Alstom rail merger in particular has drawn criticism from high-profile politicians who say there should be more latitude to create European champions. But not everyone agrees, and pushing through changes will be difficult. Brussels competition reporters Nicholas Hirst and Natalie McNelis talk to news editor Sam Wilkin about what changes could be on the horizon.
06 February 2019 12:42 by Nicholas HirstSiemens and Alstom’s frustrated plan to merge their railway businesses shows the steely independence of the European Commission’s competition regulators, who blocked the deal in the face of intense political pressure from France and Germany.
07 February 2019 12:44 by Natalie McNelisA merger of Siemens' and Alstom’s railway businesses would have been a “bad deal for British passengers, freight companies and taxpayers,” the UK rail regulator has said following the EU block on the deal yesterday.
Nicholas Hirst Chief Correspondent
Nicholas covers EU merger review and antitrust investigations for Mlex in Brussels. He previously wrote about EU affairs for Politico Europe, European Voice and PaRR. After earning an LLM in European law from the College of Europe in Bruges, he spent a year working in the competition practice of a leading competition law firm in Brussels 2009-10. He graduated in modern European languages from Oxford University in 2006.
Natalie McNelis Senior Correspondent
Natalie McNelis covers mergers for MLex in Brussels. Before joining MLex in 2017, she spent 20 years as an international trade and competition lawyer in law firms including Stibbe and WilmerHale. Natalie has a BA in English from Mount Holyoke College, a JD from Harvard Law School and an LLM in EU law from KU Leuven. She is admitted to the bar in New York.