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UK: CMA clears airport services merger

 |  January 17, 2019

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Thursday, January 17, cleared Menzies Aviation’s takeover of part of Airline Services’ business after an in-depth investigation allayed competition concerns.

Both firms supply airlines in the UK with support services, including the de-icing of aircraft and ground handling.

An initial Phase 1 probe raised concerns that the merger could result in less choice and higher prices or a reduction in quality for these services for airlines at a number of key airports in England and Scotland. These concerns led to the merger being referred to a Group of independent CMA Panel members for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation.

The CMA issued its final decision on Thursday. Having thoroughly scrutinized the wider evidence base considered in the Phase 2 inquiry, it has found that the market for ground handling services has a strong recent history of companies entering and competing for contracts. The CMA also found that Menzies and Airline Services are not close competitors in the market for de-icing services, meaning the takeover would not lead to a substantial lessening of competition.

Full Content: Gov UK

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