European Commission has approved Alstom's acquisition of Bombardier

Petr Sarovsky, Published on 08/06/2022
European Commission has approved Alstom's acquisition of Bombardier
Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition; photo @Lukasz Kobus, European Union

The approval is conditional on full compliance with a commitments package offered by Alstom.


Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: "Alstom and Bombardier are leading providers of state-of-the-art trains used every day by millions of passengers across the European Union. Thanks to the comprehensive remedies offered to solve the competition concerns in the areas of very high-speed, mainline trains, and mainline signaling, the Commission has been able to speedily review and approve this transaction. Going forward, a stronger combined Alstom and Bombardier entity will emerge. At the same time, thanks to these remedies, the new company will also continue to be challenged in its core markets to the benefit of European customers and consumers.”

The transaction was originally announced in 2020. However, the Commission's investigation found that the transaction, as initially notified, would have raised serious competition concerns in the following areas:

  • very high-speed rolling stock where the merged entity would have become the undisputed market leader with a significant market position
  • mainline rolling stock where the merged entity would have strengthened the Parties' already large combined position in particular in France and German
  • mainline signalling where the merged entity would have had the ability and the incentive to make it more difficult for other suppliers of ETCS OBUs to interface with its many already installed signalling systems (legacy OBUs) and its already operating fleet of trains (the largest in the EEA). Furthermore, the merger risked making the merger an unavoidable supplier of legacy OBUs in the Netherlands 

For these concerns, Alstom offered followed commitments (among others):

  • the divestment of 1. Alstom's mainline Coradia Polyvalent platform, (b) Alstom's production facility located in Reichshoffen in France, (c) Bombardier's mainline Talent 3 platform, and (d) part of Bombardier's production facility located in Hennigsdorf in Germany
  • the divestment of Bombardier's assets currently contributing to its joint very high-speed platform with Hitachi, the “Zefiro V300"
  • the supply of legacy OBUs and necessary interfacing information and support, in favour of signalling competitors

 The Europeans Commission, therefore, concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified by the commitments, would raise no competition concerns.

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