February 6, 2017 / 4:25 PM / in 8 months

EU regulators to decide on Siemens, Gamesa deal by March 13

A Gamesa wind turbine stands in the Sierra de Alaiz, near Pamplona, northern Spain, June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Vincent West

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - German engineering company Siemens (SIEGn.DE) is hoping to win early EU antitrust approval for its plan to create the world’s biggest wind turbine maker with Spain’s Gamesa GAM.MC, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The deal, which will combine Siemens’ strength in offshore windpower and Gamesa’s strong presence in emerging markets, underscores the wave of consolidation in the wind industry as companies try to cut costs and stay competitive.

Siemens is aiming for a phase one decision, the people said, referring to the European Commission’s initial scrutiny which kicked off on Monday and runs to March 13.

The EU competition enforcer confirmed the companies had sought approval for the deal. It can clear it with or without concessions, or open a lengthy investigation if it has serious concerns that the merger may harm consumers and rivals.

Siemens announced the deal to combine assets in June last year, which will give it a 59 percent stake in Gamesa.

The companies compete with Danish rival and market leader Vestas (VWS.CO), Germany’s Enercon and Nordex (NDXG.DE), and General Electric (GE.N).

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Susan Thomas

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