Shipping Equipment Giants Call Off $5B Merger

Antitrust officials said the deal would have “threatened the global supply chain.”

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Two major manufacturers of cargo-handling equipment have called off a proposed merger amid opposition from antitrust regulators.

Finnish equipment giants Cargotec and Konecranes announced an agreement on a $5 billion merger in 2020, but the proposal drew opposition from regulators over its potential impact on competition in an already overwhelmed global logistics sector. The companies reportedly abandoned the deal after it was blocked by U.K. competition regulators.

The U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday that the companies failed to address concerns that competition would be impacted in four types of equipment used to move massive shipping containers at ports and other logistics facilities: automated stacking cranes, straddle carriers, rail-mounted gantry cranes and rubber-tired gantry cranes.

Officials also said the two rival companies are leaders in automation and electrification at port operations, which would give a combined company a major advantage in customer purchasing decisions. U.S. antitrust officials said the proposed deal would effectively be “the culmination of decades of consolidation” in the industry.

“The proposed merger of these two shipping equipment giants would have harmed American consumers,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “It threatened the global supply chain and the free and fair markets upon which the integrity of our economy depends.”

The companies said in a statement that they would continue as independent entities.

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