Merkel Urges Europe Mergers to Develop ‘Global Players’ in Tech

(Bloomberg) -- Chancellor Angela Merkel called for an acceleration in corporate mergers in Europe to help the continent better compete with Asia and the U.S. in areas including chip production, artificial intelligence and battery technology.

“I think that we will have mergers,” Merkel said at a meeting with voters in the western Germany city of Trier on Monday, calling on the European Union to take a broader view toward industry consolidation. “If we want to keep up, we’ll have to be able to develop ‘global players’.”

The German leader said she disagreed with the EU over the bloc’s restrictive competition framework, which should be reexamined. She noted the contrast between the telecommunications markets in China and Europe, saying that a handful of providers serve some 1.3 billion Chinese while the EU has 27 for a population of 500 million.

“European competition law is sometimes very much oriented on competition between companies,” Merkel said. “That’s so that there aren’t any monopolies, but the fact is that there are many big companies, and we have to keep working on that.”

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