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EU Sets February Deadline for Korean Air, Asiana Deal

 |  December 7, 2023

The European Union’s antitrust regulator has revealed plans to reach a provisional decision on the proposed merger between Korean Air Co. and Asiana Airlines by mid-February, according to an announcement made on Wednesday.

The European Commission (EC), the executive arm of the EU, has set a provisional deadline of February 14 for the review process, as indicated on its official website. Since the announcement of the merger plan by South Korea’s two major carriers in 2020, the EC has been diligently scrutinizing the deal. Notably, concerns have been raised by the commission regarding potential restrictions on competition within the markets for both passenger and cargo air transport services connecting the EU and South Korea.

In an effort to address these concerns and secure EC approval, the involved companies took decisive action last month. They opted to sell Asiana’s cargo business and divest passenger flight routes to four European cities. This strategic move was promptly reported to the European Commission.

Read more: EU Regulators Pause Korean Air-Asiana Deal Probe

While the merger has gained approval from 11 countries, including Britain, Australia, and Singapore, crucial markets such as the EU, the United States, and Japan are yet to greenlight the deal. The European Commission’s decision holds particular significance, given its apprehensions about potential market competition constraints.

As the mid-February deadline approaches, the fate of the Korean Air and Asiana Airlines merger remains in the balance, pending the EU antitrust regulator’s verdict. The outcome will not only impact the airlines involved but will also shape the competitive landscape of air transport services between the European Union and South Korea.

Source: EN YNA