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EU Set to Approve Lufthansa’s 41% Stake Acquisition in ITA Airways

 |  June 16, 2024

The European Union’s antitrust regulator is expected to approve Lufthansa’s acquisition of a 41% stake in ITA Airways, Italy’s national carrier. This anticipated approval follows Lufthansa’s submission of a new set of concessions to address competition concerns raised by the EU.

Lufthansa’s efforts to acquire a stake in ITA Airways have been underway since February 2022. The bid encountered significant scrutiny due to fears about reduced competition on specific routes and ITA’s strong presence at Milan-Linate Airport. The airline has stressed that it will make no further concessions and has set a deadline, indicating it might abandon the deal if it is not approved by July 4.

Read more: EU Antitrust Regulators Warn Lufthansa’s Bid for ITA Airways Stake Threatens Competition

The final package of measures submitted by Lufthansa is currently under review by the regulator. The anticipated approval marks a crucial step in the context of broader airline mergers in Europe, reflecting the ongoing trend of consolidation within the industry. This development is parallel to the ongoing investigation into the IAG Group’s proposed acquisition of Air Europa.

The EU’s decision on Lufthansa’s acquisition of ITA Airways is expected to have a significant impact on the competitive landscape of European aviation, particularly in terms of market dynamics at key airports and on popular routes. As the industry continues to recover from the pandemic’s effects, this approval could signal further consolidations and strategic alliances aimed at strengthening financial stability and operational efficiency among European airlines.

Source: Reuters