German steel giant ThyssenKrupp on Wednesday said that it has applied for an eight-day extension to complete ongoing negotiations with the European Commission over its planned merger with Tata Steel.
The Commission had opened an "in-depth" investigation into the proposed merger in October last year and noted its concerns that the deal between the two steel majors may reduce competition in the supply of various high-end steels.
"We have agreed to apply for an extension by 8 working days as part of the constructive dialogue with the Commission," a ThyssenKrupp spokesperson told PTI.
As part of the transaction announced in June last year, Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp plan to combine their European carbon steel and electrical steel businesses in a joint venture.
The European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-member economic bloc, said its initial market investigation raised several issues, relating in particular to combining both companies' offer of certain specialty flat carbon steel and electrical steel products.
The Commission said it is concerned that, following the transaction, customers would face a reduced choice in suppliers, as well as higher prices.
"These customers include various European companies, ranging from major corporations to numerous small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). Many compete with imported products in the EEA, or export their products outside Europe and compete globally," the Commission said in a statement.
The Tata-ThyssenKrupp transaction was notified to the European Commission in September 2018 and had 90 working days to take a decision, a period which ended this Tuesday.
Under EU rules, the Commission has a duty to assess mergers and acquisitions involving companies with a turnover above certain thresholds and to prevent concentrations that would significantly impede effective competition in the EEA or any substantial part of it.
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