European Commission antitrust investigators are looking into certain agreements made by Areva and Siemens.
The two companies combined their reactor businesses in the 2000s, but early last year Siemens moved to end this arrangement and find another partner. Areva is still to buy out Siemens' 34% stake in Areva NP, but took full control in 2009.
After that time, the EU said, certain "non-compete" clauses as well as other "contractual restrictions" were agreed and it is these that are the focus of the European investigation.
The EU today announced the initiation of proceedings, meaning "the case merits investigation," but warned that this "does not imply that the commission has conclusive proof of an infringement. It only means that the commission will conduct an in-depth investigation of the case."
What Siemens did next
Shortly after revealing its intention to leave Areva NP, Siemens chief Peter Löscher travelled to Russia for talks with prime minister Vladimir Putin over a possible link-up with Rosatom to develop VVER pressurized water reactors. These talks took place in February 2009 and were followed one month later by a memorandum of understanding. However, no definitive agreement has yet emerged.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News