LONDON/VIENNA (Reuters) – With the ink barely dry on Lufthansa’s deal to take over large parts of insolvent Air Berlin, the airline risks having its wings clipped by regulators and rivals concerned about unfair competition.
Lufthansa signed a 210 million euro ($248 million) deal on Thursday to take over Air Berlin units Niki and LG Walter, plus some short-haul planes, to cement its position in Germany and expand its Eurowings budget brand.
Competition - Authorities - Friday - Lufthansa - Austrian
Austrian competition authorities said on Friday they believed Lufthansa, which also owns Austrian Airlines, would be too dominant in Vienna if it owned Austria-based Niki.
“We see an anti-competitive Lufthansa monopoly in Vienna on many routes after the takeover of Fly Niki,” the competition authority’s spokeswoman said. “We will voice our concern about the takeover at the European Commission.”
Cartel - Office - Commission - Look - Deal
The German cartel office said it expected the European Commission to take a close look at the deal.
The European Commission had no comment, with a spokesman saying it had not yet been formally notified of the deal.
Deal - Eyebrows - Airlines - Ryanair - CEO
The deal has also raised eyebrows with rival airlines. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has called it a “stitch-up”, saying it would give Lufthansa a 95...
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