The German group already wanted to start integrating the Italian national airline in January. But the European Commission is studying the file in more detail. This means a delay of at least three months for Lufthansa/ITA.
After companies submit documents, the EU Commission has 25 days to check the acquisition or merger to ensure there are no barriers to competition. More than 90 percent of all cases are completed in this period called the first phase. As a rule, there are no requirements.
This first phase of the review of Lufthansa joining ITA Airways ends in mid-January. Italian Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti made clear this week that this would not be the end of the matter. Competition watchdogs in Brussels will begin the second phase. You need significantly more time for this. They will spend up to 90 days examining in detail the impact of the merger on competition in European aviation.
The second phase lasts for at least 90 days
Depending on the scope of the case, there may be an extension of 15 or 20 business days. The EU Commission will then announce its final decision on the compatibility of the planned merger. Until then, not only is there a lot left to analyze, there is also a lot to negotiate. Representatives of Lufthansa and ITA as well as the European Union are in constant contact to discuss any problems.
There is supposed to be a lot of friction at the moment, according to the newspaper Corriere della Sera He writes. The European Union is said to have made unacceptable demands to the Lufthansa Group. Brussels clearly wants not only Lufthansa and ETA, but also other subsidiaries such as Brussels Airlines and SwissSlots to give up. There was already talk earlier that the combined group will have to provide periods for take-offs and landings in Milan Linate.
It does not work without compromise
But the European Union is also said to have called for restrictions on traffic to North America. One thing is already clear: Lufthansa and ETA will not get away without making concessions. Work on integrating ITA into the Lufthansa Group, which was supposed to start in January, has been postponed until spring.
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