EC opens in-depth investigation into proposed acquisition of Ilva by ArcelorMittal
The Commission has concerns that the merger may reduce competition for a number of flat carbon steel products.
ArcelorMittal is the leading producer of flat carbon steel, both worldwide and in Europe, with a wide production network within the European Economic Area (EEA).
Ilva is a significant producer of flat carbon steel with major production assets in Italy. With the transaction, ArcelorMittal would notably increase its market leadership through the acquisition of Ilva's steel plant in Taranto, Italy, which is Europe's largest single-site integrated plant.
The Commission's initial market investigation raised several issues relating in particular to the combination of ArcelorMittal's and Ilva's offering of a number of flat carbon steel products, namely hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanised flat carbon steel products.
At this stage, the Commission is concerned that, following the transaction, customers would face higher prices, particularly in Southern Europe, for these important inputs.
These customers include numerous companies, many of which are small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).
They are active in sectors ranging from construction to car manufacturing, household appliances, tubes and many more. Many of those industries compete with imported products in the EEA, or export their products outside Europe and compete globally. ■