Germany's Merkel suggests rethink of EU competition policy

Posted on Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 By The Associated Press

German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech during the 'Digitalising Europe Summit 2019', hosted by the Vodafone company in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019. (Photo/Markus Schreiber)

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe may need to rethink its competition rules if it wants to create companies that can play a significant role on the global stage.

Merkel's comments Tuesday at a digital business conference in Berlin come two weeks after European Union antitrust authorities blocked a deal to create a rail giant that could compete with China.

Merging the high-speed train businesses of France's Alstom and Germany's Siemens was seen as an opportunity to prepare for the global expansion of China's CRRC Corporation.

Without directly mentioning the failed deal, Merkel said the EU's stance on competition "leaves me in doubt about whether we can really produce global players this way."

She added that "for this we would first have to get European willingness to change competition law."

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