The announcement of the merger between the two most major South Korean shipbuilders, Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., made headlines in 2019. Prior to that, the announcement of a planned merger between the two major Chinese shipbuilders, China Shipbuilding Industry Corp. and China State Shipbuilding Corp., came as the latest in a row of mergers of state-owned businesses in the country.
However, the merger between the two major shipbuilders, HHI and DSME, has been a controversial issue the last year and faced many obstacles. For instance, in 2019, the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering branch of the Korean Metal Workers’ Union conducted a demonstration in Brussels, October 1, against the union of Daewoo and Hyundai Heavy Industries group, followed by the Korean Metal Workers’ Union that proceeded to a similar action in Japan.
Now, it is reported that China's anti-trust authority has given the greenlight to the merger between two major South Korean shipbuilders Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings (HHI) and Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME).
The Korea Times note that China’s State Administration for Market Regulation led to the conclusion that the potential merger will not hurt fair market competition and issued unconditional approval for the merger.
It is the third approval the yards have received after anti-trust agencies in Kazakhstan and Singapore gave the go ahead for the takeover.
Currently, Europe is investigating the merger, as they expressed concerns for the merger, stating that it may bring negative impacts in the cargo shipbuilding industry and reduce its global competition.