May 5, 2019 / 9:30 AM / in 22 days

ThyssenKrupp sees room for EU agreement on Tata Steel deal

FILE PHOTO: A logo of ThyssenKrupp AG is pictured outside the ThyssenKrupp headquarters in Essen, November 23, 2017. REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen/File Photo

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - ThyssenKrupp said on Sunday it still saw scope for agreement with European antitrust regulators on a planned joint venture with Tata Steel despite a Financial Times report that Brussels was likely to block the deal.

Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp have proposed combining their steel operations in Europe to form the region’s second-biggest steelmaker. However, the landmark deal has not yet been approved because of concerns about its impact on competition.

Earlier on Sunday, the Financial Times reported that EU antitrust regulators were concerned the deal would lead to less choice and higher prices for steel and were increasingly likely to block it unless the companies offered greater concessions.

A ThyssenKrupp spokesman said: “The Competition Commission has taken the reworked commitments proposed by ThyssenKrupp and Tata Steel as an opportunity to conduct another market test.”

“There are still a number of ways to adjust our commitments without compromising the commercial logic of the joint venture.”

Late last month, the European Commission extended the deadline for reviewing the planned joint venture by seven working days until June 17.

ThyssenKrupp said further talks were planned with EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in the coming week.

Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Dale Hudson

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