BRUSSELS, 22 June (Reuters) – (This 22 June story corrects title and text to show only Thyssenkrupp involved in court appeal)
Thyssenkrupp (TKAG.DE) has lost against an EU antitrust veto over its proposed joint venture with Tata Steel (TISC.NS), after Europe’s second highest court rejected its argument.
The two companies in 2019 have looked to address overcapacity and other challenges in the steel industry through a joint venture, which will create Europe’s second largest steelmaker after ArcelorMittal (MT.LU).
But the European Commission said the deal could result in significant price hikes and demanded a Thyssenkrupp solution at a time when it said it would jeopardize the logic of the planned transaction.
EU competition enforcer in its 2019 decision said the company did not offer sufficient steps to address the problem, forcing it to block the deal and Thyssenkrupp to challenge the findings at the Luxembourg-based General Court.
“In today’s decision, the Supreme Court rejected all the arguments put forward by the perpetrators and continues to uphold the Commission’s decision,” the Court said, Wednesday.
Thyssenkrupp can appeal legal matters to the European Union Court of Justice, Europe’s top court.
The case is a T-584/19.
Thyssenkrupp, which has since investigated and resisted attempts to sell its steel division to Britain’s Liberty Steel, said it had taken note of the decision.
“We remain of the opinion that the EU Commission’s blocking of the joint venture with Tata Steel Europe in 2019 was a disproportionate move,” the company said.
Tata Steel Europe declined to comment.
Reported by Foo Yun Chee; Additional reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff in Duesseldorf and Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt; Edited by Edmund Blair, Jane Merriman and David Goodman
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