EC opens investigation into joint venture proposed by steel suppliers Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp
At this stage, the Commission is concerned that the merger may reduce competition in the supply of various high-end steels.
Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp are major integrated producers of flat carbon steel and electrical steel with significant production facilities in the European Economic Area (EEA), in particular in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. With the transaction, Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp would combine their European carbon steel and electrical steel businesses in a joint venture.
At this stage, the Commission is concerned that, following the transaction, customers would face a reduced choice in suppliers, as well as higher prices. These customers include various European companies, ranging from major corporations to numerous small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). Many compete with imported products in the EEA, or export their products outside Europe and compete globally.
The Commission will now carry out an in-depth investigation into the effects of this transaction to determine whether its preliminary competition concerns are confirmed. ■