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ITA-Lufthansa: no to mergers 'very rare' says Vestager

ITA-Lufthansa: no to mergers 'very rare' says Vestager

No decision made yet says EU competition chief

ROME, 28 May 2024, 14:19

ANSA English Desk



The European Commission's saying no to European mergers is very rare, Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said Tuesday raising hopes the EU executive will clear the way for ITA to team up with Lufthansa before a July 4 deadline.
    Vestager said she could recall only 10 cases of mergers not being greenlit during her long stint on the EC.
    But she said there will still "issues" linked to the proposed merger, and "no decision has been taken yet".
    Vesatger said last Thursday that the operation poses competition risks.
    "There is a risk that prices will go up and passenger numbers fall. It's up to the companies to illustrate how to prevent that happening. And that's the process in which we find ourselves now. No decision has been taken." Progress in talks aimed at securing an EU nod for the merger between the two flag carriers is "little" and "slow", various EU sources told ANSA after the airlines made fresh commitments to try to meet antitrust demands last Wednesday.
    The further concessions from the German airline and the Italian economy ministry on slots at Milan Linate do not appear to be sufficient, they said, and the EU reportedly wants a more solid solution for long-range routes from Rome Fiumicino to the USA and Canada, the sources said.


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