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France claims big win against Vestager in battle for champions

 |  December 17, 2019

By Giorgio Leali & Thibault Larger

The French are popping the Champagne corks.

They think they have achieved the impossible, and have pushed EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager to revise her hallowed rulebook to allow the creation of European industrial champions that can rival China.

Ever since Vestager early this year blocked a mega merger in the rail sector between France’s Alstom and Germany’s Siemens, Paris and Berlin have mounted a determined push to tear up EU competition rules, which they say stand in the way of industrial heavyweights that can challenge China and the U.S.

The main Franco-German argument is that Brussels needs to focus less on European consumers and prioritize the survival of EU companies on the international stage.

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