Lufthansa ITA Airways deal depends on routes

ITA – Lufthansa deal hinges on routes

Business News

The EU Competition Commissioner says the routes operated by Lufthansa and ITA are the potential stumbling block to the deal.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager remarked on Thursday that the EU executive’s approval of Lufthansa’s acquisition of a 41% stake in Italy’s ITA Airways hinges on how the companies intend to address the challenges posed by the deal concerning flight routes.

“We must exercise patience,” Vestager told RaiNews24. She was speaking on the sidelines of the G7 Industry meeting in Verona, responding to queries about the Commission’s timeline for deciding on the agreement. “It depends on the responses from the companies.”

She continued, “A thorough examination has been conducted to assess any route overlaps. If both companies operate on the same routes, one would need to cease operations, leading to potential price hikes.”

“We are awaiting proposals from both ITA and Lufthansa to resolve this issue,” she continued, “ensuring a smooth merger process.”

In January, the European Commission initiated a comprehensive investigation into the proposed transaction between Lufthansa and ITA Airways, advancing to phase two of the antitrust scrutiny. Also that month, Lufthansa acknowledged it had made concessions in order to secure approval for the acquisition.

This examination commenced in late November after the Italian Treasury, along with the German carrier, formally notified Brussels of their intentions.

The Italian Treasury is the current sole proprietor of the ITA company that succeeded the financially struggling national carrier Alitalia in 2021.

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