France and Germany are upset because the EU this month blocked Alstom and Siemens from merging to form a European rail champion. Brussels argued the merger would form a behemoth that would harm European consumers, while Paris and Berlin claimed that the tie-up was necessary to combat rival manufacturers in China.
Monti disliked France’s desire to rewrite antitrust rules as “un-French,” saying that Paris is usually a strong advocate of enforcement from Brussels. He warned that an assault on EU law by the government of President Emmanuel Macron could undermine the credibility of competition regulators in Brussels as they seek to take action against digital giants.
He told Politico in an interview that top French officials underestimate the likelihood of their actions backfiring. “I found the comment of Bruno Le Maire, that Vestager acted in the interest of China, frankly unacceptable”, Mario Monti.