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ITA-Lufthansa: clouds on the horizon

Brussels ensures constructive dialogue; Urso: "We expect a decision in a reasonable time"

Brussels' attempt at reassurance on the ITA-Lufthansa marriage fails. The European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, tried yesterday. But saying that the "dialogue is proceeding" is not enough to avoid the clouds on the horizon, after the German airline this week had aired the possible abandonment of the merger project if "the costs are excessive compared to the benefits", due to the conditions of the EU Antitrust.

"We're here to make sure there's still competition in the market where companies are merging. It's up to the companies to figure out what the balance is between the problems we're supposed to solve and what justifies the merger, it's up to the companies to decide. As I see it, we have pretty good open discussions with the companies in question. It's a complicated merger case, but it's a merger case like others we've seen", said Vestager yesterday.

Words that sound more like a defense against accusations of slowness in Brussels' decision. And in fact, the Minister for Business and Made in Italy (Mimit), Adolfo Urso, replied shortly after: "We expect the commission to decide within a reasonable time. We obviously believe that it can and must decide in favor of this project which strengthens the European aeronautical industry. The data tells us that ITA is doing well and therefore, it is an important and competitive company that needs an industrial partner and for this reason Lufthansa was chosen". 

On the same topic, see also the article published by AVIONEWS.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency