thyssenkrupp has filed a complaint with the General Court of the European Union (EGC) against the European Commission’s decision to prohibit the formation of a European flat steel joint venture with Tata Steel.
The Commission had justified its merger control decision of June 11, 2019 by stating that a joint venture between thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel would restrict competition in Europe in certain steel grades to such an extent that price increases for customers and consumers could be expected. The Commission found that the remedies offered by the parties were insufficient.
thyssenkrupp has said that it does not share these concerns. In its competitive assessment of the product groups of packaging steel and hot-dip galvanized steel for the automotive industry, the Commission has for the first time set out a restrictive market definition that unduly extends the scope of the existing competition law. Furthermore, the Commission did not take adequate account of the structural importance of imports into Europe, buyer-side purchasing power and possible substitutions with alternative packaging materials and alternative galvanizing methods.