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Singapore Watchdog Raises Concern With Air India Acquisition

 |  June 5, 2022

Singapore’s competition commission on Friday said it has raised concerns with the Tata Groupover its acquisition of Air India as the conglomerate now owns two of the three key airlines that operate flights on Singapore-Mumbai and Singapore-Delhi routes.

Air India, Vistara and Singapore Airlines are the three key airlines that operate on the two aforementioned routes. Vistara’s 51 per cent stake is held by the Tata Group and the remaining 49 per cent is with Singapore Airlines.

Talace Private Limited, a subsidiary of the Tata Sons Private Limited, took control of Air Indiaon January 27 after successfully winning the bid for the airline on October 8 last year.

In a statement on Friday, the Singapore Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) said it has raised competition concerns with Talace Private Limited on the transaction (Tata’s acquisition of Air India) based on information received from Talace and third parties.

“In particular, Air India and Vistara are two of the three key market players along the overlapping air passenger transport routes (Singapore-Mumbai and Singapore-Delhi), and both airlines are likely to be each other’s close (if not the closest) competitor,” the CCCS noted.

Third party feedback also suggests the presence of Singapore Airlines as a significant competitor of Air India and Vistara along the overlapping air passenger transport routes (Singapore-Mumbai and Singapore-Delhi) and the overlapping air cargo transport routes (Singapore-India), it mentioned.

“However, the CCCS needs to assess further the extent to which Singapore Airlines competes with the merged entity along these routes, given that Singapore Airlines is a joint-venture partner with Tata Sons in Vistara and a prospective partner with Vistara in the Commercial Cooperation Framework Agreement,” it noted.

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