The European Commission antitrust regulators have opened up an inquiry into the proposed joint venture between Siemens, Cogema and Framatome.

Having warned that the proposed tie-up could result in the three companies having too large a market share in manufacturing certain nuclear power equipment, the commission said: “The transaction has also to be seen in a wider perspective concerning the overall impact on nuclear technology markets.” According to Siemens, the proposed joint venture, called Framatome Advanced Nuclear Power, would have combined annual sales of E$.1 billion. The venture has already been cleared by US antitrust authorities, but the commission’s regulators have decided to take another four months to evaluate the deal. The commission said the joint venture will mainly affect the design and manufacture of fuel assemblies, instrumentation and control systems and the replacement and installation of nuclear power plant components.