May 24, 2024 12:46 am
Ita and Lufthansa’s marriage hangs in the balance in Brussels

The EU Commission is expected to release new communication in the coming days, possibly at the beginning of next week, regarding the purchase of Ita by Lufthansa. The antitrust investigation into the operation, which began on 23 January, will conclude on 6 June. After the observations, counter-proposals may follow, particularly regarding concerns about the possible monopoly position that could result from the merger.

There has been discussion about potential objections raised by community institutions, particularly regarding the monopoly position that could result on certain routes due to Lufthansa’s existing portfolio of airlines. Low-cost carriers are waiting to see if Lufthansa and Ita, should the merger be approved, will be required to sell some slots in major Italian airports. Ryanair’s CEO has proposed that 30% of slots at Fiumicino should be renounced and distributed among other carriers to ensure fair competition.

The agreement between the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (Mef) and Lufthansa for the sale of a 41% stake in Ita dates back almost a year. The Mef has expressed frustration with the length of the operation and has urged the EU to approve the merger to create a strong European champion in the aviation sector. Lufthansa’s CEO has indicated progress in discussions with the EU Commission and is optimistic about receiving approval soon.

Overall, there are ongoing negotiations and discussions surrounding

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