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EU Halts Investigation into IAG’s Bid for Air Europa

 |  March 4, 2024

Last month, European Union antitrust regulators put a temporary halt on their investigation into International Airlines Group (IAG)’s ambitious bid to acquire Air Europa for 400 million euros ($434.28 million). This decision, revealed in a recent update on the European Commission’s website, sheds light on the complexities surrounding the deal and the regulatory scrutiny it faces.

According to sources cited by Reuters, the EU competition enforcer was on the verge of issuing an antitrust warning to IAG, signaling its insistence on the airline conglomerate bolstering its proposed remedies. These remedies were initially submitted the previous month but evidently failed to assuage the Commission’s concerns.

A spokesperson for the Commission confirmed the pause in the investigation, stating, “We can confirm that on 1 March 2024, the Commission stopped the clock in its investigation into the acquisition of Air Europa by IAG, with effect as of 9 February 2024.” The spokesperson highlighted that certain data had been requested from the involved parties, which, once supplied, would prompt the resumption of the investigation.

Related: British Airways Owner IAG To Buy Air Europa

The Commission’s decision carries implications for the deal’s timeline, as the previous deadline for a verdict was set for June 7. With the investigation temporarily halted, the legal deadline will be adjusted accordingly once the requested information is provided.

This development marks a setback for IAG and Air Europa, as it reflects the ongoing challenges in addressing EU competition concerns. Notably, the two companies had previously attempted a deal in 2021, but their proposed remedies failed to meet regulatory standards, leading to the cancellation of the agreement.

Source: UK Finance Yahoo