June 8, 2018 / 4:05 PM / in 10 months

EU to rule on Siemens-Alstom rail deal by July 13

FILE PHOTO - Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alstom, and Siemens President and CEO Joe Kaeser attend a news conference to announce their deal to merge their rail operations, creating a European champion, in Paris, France, September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - German industrial group Siemens AG (SIEGn.DE) and French rival Alstom SA (ALSO.PA) will know by July 13 whether they can secure EU antitrust approval for the planned merger of their rail businesses to compete better with China’s CRRC Corp.(601766.SS)

The European Commission set the deadline after the companies sought approval on Friday. The EU competition watchdog can approve the deal with or without concessions, or it can open a four-month investigation if it has serious concerns.

Siemens and Alstom announced the deal last September, potentially bringing the French TGV and German ICE high-speed trains as well as signaling and rail technology under one roof, and the companies have since been engaged in informal talks with the Commission.

While the deal is seen as a Franco-German industrial breakthrough for French President Emmanuel Macron, it has angered opposition politicians and trade unions worried about job losses.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by David Goodman

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