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EU: Lufthansa offers concessions over Air Berlin asset buy

 |  December 3, 2017

German airline Lufthansa has offered concessions to try to allay competition concerns about its plan to buy Air Berlin assets, EU antitrust regulators said on Friday, December 1.

The European Commission, concerned about Lufthansa’s potential dominance in Germany as a result of the plan, extended its deadline for a decision on the deal to December 21 from December 7. It did not provide details of Lufthansa’s concessions.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday that the airline was willing to cede slots belonging to Air Berlin businesses Niki and LG Walter.

Air Berlin filed for insolvency in August and was subsequently carved up, with Lufthansa buying Niki and LGW, plus some short-haul planes, for €210 million (US$249 million) to expand its Eurowings budget brand.

Berlin pledged a €150 million loan to prevent Air Berlin’s planes from immediately being grounded. But the deal has come under fire from airlines and consumer groups who fear it will give Lufthansa dominance of German domestic routes and in Austria. Lufthansa was expected to have to offer significant remedies as the Commission determined Lufthansa, Niki and LGW’s activities overlapped on more than 100 routes. On around half of those routes, the combined market share would be above 60%, while on some routes Lufthansa would also have a monopoly.

Full Content: Daily News Egypt

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