The European Commission, which serves as the European Union’s main antitrust regulator, has sent Statement of Objections to Siemens AG (Germany) and Alstom SA (France) over their plans to merge their rail businesses. Representatives of Siemens have confirmed reception of the Statement of Objections, the Interfax news agency reports, citing Dow Jones.

The sending of the Statement of Objections means that the European Commission’s final decision on the merger is postponed until January 28. By then, the companies can propose measures to mitigate the proposed merger’s effects on the market, including sale of assets.

The European Commission previously expressed concerns that the merger of the industry giants could lead to higher prices for their products, reduce customer choices, and reduce competitive pressure, which may adversely affect innovation.

The planned merger was announced last September. The group resulting from the merger is expected to be called Siemens Alstom, which will be headquartered in the suburbs of Paris and have annual revenues of about EUR 15.3 billion.

Both companies recently said that they expected to complete the merger in the second half of 2019.

Alstom shares rose by 2.6% during trading on Wednesday. Siemens shares rose by 1.6%.