December 18, 2018 / 12:47 PM / a month ago

EU's Vestager worries about high speed trains in Alstom, Siemens deal

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager holds a news conference at the EU Commission's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium July 24, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager on Tuesday voiced concerns over a plan by Siemens and Alstom to create a Franco-German rail champion and its effect on high-speed trains in Europe.

German industrial group Siemens and French rival Alstom last week offered to sell either one of their high-speed train technologies and the bulk of Alstom’s signalling business in Europe in addition to some Siemens signalling assets to address EU antitrust concerns, people familiar with the matter told Reuters..

The European Commission has given rivals and customers until this week to provide feedback on the offer.

“It is right to say that we have concerns on very high-speed trains because it is very important for Europe to develop also when it comes to high-speed trains,” Vestager told a news conference.

“For us, it is very important to get the market response,” she said.

Vestager also said she was following the latest incident involving Facebook and the leak of user data.

“On the papers, documents that are being brought forward about Facebook’s behaviour, we take an interest in that as well but it is still very early days. So I cannot say what will come from it,” she said.

Vestager had previously said such incidents were handled by privacy regulators.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Keith Weir

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