EU to investigate $85bn Linde, Praxair merger

Margrethe Vestager

The European Commission said it has opened an in-depth investigation into the proposed $85 billion merger of industrial gases giants Linde and Praxair, saying it feared reduced competition for some crucial gases.

The proposed all-share merger of Germany’s Linde and Praxai of the US, agreed last June, would create the world’s biggest industrial gases group with revenue of $28.7 billion and 88,000 staff.

The Commission said it is concerned that the merger may reduce competition in the supply of several crucial gases, like oxygen and helium.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, responsible for competition policy, said: “Gases – like oxygen and helium – are crucial inputs for a large variety of products we use every day.

“Manufacturers need to buy these gases from a small number of suppliers.

“We will carefully assess whether the proposed merger between Praxair and Linde would lead to higher prices or less choice for European consumers and businesses.”

 

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.