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EU: Lufthansa’s Air Berlin buy stirs up competition concerns

 |  October 15, 2017

Ryanair has vowed to refer Lufthansa’s deal to acquire some assets of bankrupt Air Berlin to the European Union competition authorities.

The Irish carrier had previously described the possibility of a deal between the two German airlines as a “stitch up” intended to strengthen Lufthansa and late on Thursday, October 12, it announced it will challenge the agreement by turning to the competition watchdog.

“We will be referring the matter to the EU competition authority in due course,” a Ryanair spokesman said, without offering any further details on the timing of the legal challenge.

Ryanair’s move came a few hours after Lufthansa announced a €210 million (US$186.6 million) deal to purchase Air Berlin’s subsidiaries Niki and LG Walter, as well as 20 aircraft.

Adding to the concerns Austrian competition authorities said they believed Lufthansa, which also owns Austrian Airlines, would be too dominant in Vienna if it owned Austria-based Niki.

“We see an anti-competitive Lufthansa monopoly in Vienna on many routes after the takeover of Fly Niki,” the competition authority’s spokeswoman said.

Full Content: RTE & BBC

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