The acquisition of Dematic and two other divisions of Atecs Mannesmann by Siemens has been cleared by the European Commission which vets all major mergers and acquisitions to prevent monopolies.

Dematic, which manufactures mobile, crawler and harbour cranes as well as overhead travelling cranes and industrial handling systems, is to be part of the Siemens Production & Logistics Systems Group. The new company will start life with annual sales of E3.8bn ($3.2bn) and 20,000 employees. Chief executive officer is Dietmar Straub, who was previously head of Mannesmann Dematic.

Siemens explained its strategy: “This merger will position Siemens as a world market leader in the rapidly growing field of logistics automation. The company’s comprehensive know–how in e–commerce fulfilment (the interface between receiving orders via the Internet and processing them) will make it the world’s largest supplier in the field of logistics automation. The new company will offer end to end supply chain solutions – including material flow, production and logistics automation – for customers such as postal services, airports, the electronics industry and trade.” The new owner must remain committed to the construction crane business for at least three years – an undertaking made to former owner Mannesmann when the sale was negotiated.

The only condition put on Siemens by the competition authorities was that it must give up part of its postal automation business. To comply, it will sell the Mannesmann Dematic Postal Automation division, which is based in France.

Siemens also takes control of the Atecs companies VDO, which is being merged with Siemens’ Automotive Systems Group, and Sachs.

The Commission is continuing its inquiry into the acquisition by Robert Bosch of the fourth unit, Rexroth.

Clearance from the US Federal Trade Commission for the deals is expected by the end of the year.