Ita and Lufthansa’s marriage hangs in the balance in Brussels

EU Commission’s Decision on Lufthansa-Ita Merger Expected Soon: Low-Cost Carriers and Concerns for Fair Competition

The EU Commission is expected to release new communication on the purchase of Ita by Lufthansa in the coming days, possibly at the beginning of next week. This will conclude the antitrust investigation that began on 23 January and may lead to counter-proposals, particularly regarding concerns about a possible monopoly position resulting from the merger.

Low-cost carriers are closely monitoring the situation and 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, ongoing negotiations and discussions surround the potential merger between Ita and Lufthansa, with various stakeholders closely monitoring the situation as they wait for the EU Commission’s decision.

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