Luxembourg-based General Court has rejected Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp appeal against the European Union antitrust veto of their proposed joint venture three years ago.
Rejecting the arguments, the Europe’s second-highest court, said the remedies proposed by Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel did not address in a full and lasting manner the competition problems identified. Consequently, Thyssenkrupp brought an action before the General Court of the European Union for annulment of the decision.
In its judgment on Wednesday, the General Court rejected all the arguments raised by the undertaking and upholds the European Commission’s decision, it said.
On September 25, 2018, the two undertakings notified the Commission of their plan to acquire joint control of a newly created joint venture. The Commission held that the proposed concentration raised serious doubts as to its compatibility with the internal market and decided to initiate an in-depth examination procedure.
The Commission later said the proposed merger transaction would result in a significant impediment to effective competition in a substantial part of the internal market.
In June 2019, the Commission declared that the transaction was incompatible with the internal market and the European Economic Area.
The Commission considered that the transaction would result in a significant impediment to effective competition, in particular due to horizontal non-coordinated effects resulting from the elimination of an important competitive constraint. As a result, customers would have faced a reduction in the number of suppliers, as well as higher prices.