KARLSRUHE, Germany (March 2, 2009)—Michelin has an earnest interest in taking over Continental A.G.'s tire divisions, but the French tire maker sees too many hurdles in Europe's cartel regulations, according to the head of the firm's German subsidiary.
“We would very much like to (consider a takeover), but our hands are tied,” said Michelin Reifenwerke K.G. Director Dieter Freitag.
“The European cartel law would never allow a company like Michelin to take over Conti's tire business.”
Together, Freitag said, the two companies would have a singular position far beyond the competition.
“We dominate the market already in some segments,” he said, “but both companies together would dominate overwhelmingly.”
Freitag doesn't see cooperating with Conti as an attractive alternative.
“We are so structured with our multi-brand strategy that we cover all segments already. Therefore I wouldn't know what advantages a cooperationg would bring us,” he said.