By Max Bernhard 
 

Thyssenkrupp AG (TKA.XE) said Thursday that it is filing a complaint with the General Court of the European Union against the European Commission's decision to prohibit its steel joint-venture with Tata Steel Ltd. (500470.BY).

The European Union's antitrust body blocked the planned merger in June, saying the combination would reduce competition in the supply of special steel for the car and packaging industries.

The German steel company, one of the largest in Europe, said it doesn't share the commission's concerns that the tie-up would restrict competition for certain steel grades to such an extent that consumers and customers would have to expect price increases or that the remedies offered by the companies were insufficient.

"The consolidation of the European steel industry is still right and necessary which is also shown by the current critical market situation for steel manufacturers. Overcapacities and high import pressure from Asia create an environment in which the planned joint venture with Tata Steel would not have impaired competition. We regret the European Commission's decision and regard it as too far-reaching and wrong. That is why we are filing a complaint," executive board member Donatus Kaufmann said.

Thyssenkrupp alleges that in its assessment of packaging steel and hot-dip galvanized steel for the automotive industry, "the commission has for the first time set out a restrictive market definition that unduly extends the scope of the existing competition law." The EU body also didn't take "adequate account of the structural importance of imports into Europe, buyer-side purchasing power and possible substitutions with alternative packaging materials and alternative galvanizing methods," it added.

Thyssenkrupp said the commitments it submitted together with Tata would have been sufficient to remove competition concerns.

 

Write to Max Bernhard at max.bernhard@dowjones.com; @mxbernhard

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 22, 2019 04:11 ET (08:11 GMT)

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