The EU’s interests in the ITA and Lufthansa merger

The European Commission has issued a preliminary opinion regarding the joint control of Ita Airways by Lufthansa and Mef, expressing concerns about the impact on competition in the market for passenger air transport services in and out of Italy. The Commission is worried that customers may face higher prices or reduced quality of services post-transaction.

The Commission’s specific concerns relate to short-haul routes connecting Italy with Central Europe, where Lufthansa and Ita compete directly with low-cost carriers such as Ryanair. Additionally, on long-haul routes between Italy and the United States, Canada, and Japan, the Commission believes that competition from other airlines is insufficient. It considers Ita, Lufthansa, and its partners as a single entity after the merger.

A particular concern is Ita’s dominant position at Milan-Linate airport, which could make it challenging for competitors to provide air passenger transport services to and from that location. The Commission emphasizes that its goal is to prevent negative effects on customers in terms of increased costs or decreased quality of services.

Lufthansa and Mef now have the opportunity to respond to the Commission’s statement of objections, examine the Commission’s findings, request a hearing, and propose solutions to address the competition concerns. The companies can submit remedies at any point until the appeal deadline of April 26, 2024. The Commission’s issuance of a Statement of Objections is a formal step in the investigation process and does not predetermine the outcome.

By Riley Johnson

As a content writer at newsmol.com, I dive into the depths of information to craft compelling stories that captivate and inform readers. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I strive to create engaging content that resonates with our audience. Whether it's breaking news, in-depth features, or thought-provoking opinion pieces, I am dedicated to delivering high-quality, informative content that keeps readers coming back for more. My goal is to bring a fresh perspective to every article I write and to make a meaningful impact through the power of words.

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