London partner Matthew Hall was quoted prominently in an April 11 story published on the International Bar Association website about calls for revisions to European Union competition laws.
A European Commission decision this year to block a proposed merger between German-based Siemens and Alstom, headquartered in France, has stirred concerns that European industries contend with an uneven playing field, the story said.
By adopting market rules more stringent than those of other major world economies such as the United States and China, the European Commission risks putting industries in European nations at a competitive disadvantage, critics contended. The merger would have created the world’s second-largest rail company.
Hall said the European Commission’s action was no surprise.
“It was always going to be difficult to push this merger through. Siemens and Alstom are the two biggest operators in a sector with only a small number of players, so in competition terms, this was always the most likely outcome in the absence of far-reaching remedies of the type which ultimately the parties were not willing to put forward,” he said.