Why PSA wants to help Toyota in Europe as FCA merger awaits antitrust approval

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BRUSSELS — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group have offered concessions to address EU antitrust concerns about their plan to create the world’s fourth-biggest automaker, a European Commission filing showed on Friday.

The EU antitrust enforcer temporarily halted its investigation into the deal in July while waiting for the companies to provide requested data. It did not set a deadline for its decision.

The EU investigation focuses on whether the deal would hurt competition in small vans in 14 EU countries and Britain.

As part of the plan, PSA has offered to increase the production capacity for Toyota in their van joint venture, Reuters reported, quoting an unnamed source. Another source said the French company would sell the vans at close to cost price.

PSA makes vans for Toyota in its Sevelnord plant in northern France. The van collaboration started in 2012.

“As of now, the transaction has obtained merger clearance in fourteen jurisdictions. As previously stated, closing of the transaction is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2021,” PSA and FCA said in a joint statement.

“The deadline is still suspended. This procedure in merger investigations is activated if the parties fail to provide, in a timely fashion, an important piece of information that the Commission has requested from them,” a EU executive said.

Regulators are now expected to seek feedback from customers and rivals before deciding whether to demand more concessions, or either clear or block the deal.

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Saurabh Shukla

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