EC Raises Concerns over Lufthansa-Mef Acquisition of Ita Airways: Will it Lead to Increased Prices for Customers on Short-Haul Routes?

The EU’s interests in the merger between ITA and Lufthansa

The European Commission has raised concerns about the acquisition of joint control of Ita Airways by Lufthansa and the Ministry of Economy and Finance (Mef). The Commission believes that this project could potentially lead to increased prices or decreased service quality for customers on certain routes, particularly on short-haul routes connecting Italy with Central Europe.

On long-haul routes between Italy and the United States, Canada, and Japan, the Commission sees competition between Ita and Lufthansa as a single entity. However, Ita’s dominant position at Milan-Linate airport could create obstacles for competitors to offer air passenger transport services to and from the airport. The Commission aims to ensure that this transaction does not have negative effects on customers in terms of increased costs or decreased service quality.

The next step in the investigation is the issuance of a Statement of Objections, where the Commission raises specific objections against the companies involved. Lufthansa and Mef have until April 26, 2024, to respond to these objections, review the Commission’s findings, and propose solutions to address competition concerns. They can submit remedies at any point during this timeframe.

The content also contains information on various products and reviews unrelated to the European Commission’s investigation into the acquisition of joint control of Ita Airways by Lufthansa and Mef.

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