MADRID – The European Union said on Tuesday that it was opening an in-depth investigation into Thyssenkrupp AG’s planned merger of its European steel business with Tata Steel Ltd, citing concerns that the deal could reduce competition in high-end steel supply.
The EU is concerned that if the deal were to go through, “customers would face a reduced choice in suppliers, as well as higher prices,” it said. These customers include European companies of various sizes, it added.
“Steel is a crucial input for many of the goods we use in our everyday life, and competitive steel prices are vital for the European economy,” said Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner in charge of competition policy.
The EU said it would make a decision by March 19.