Aegean Airlines has won EU approval to buy rival Olympic Air.


New York (AirGuideBusiness - Business & Industry Features) - Wed, Oct 9, 2013

Aegean Airlines has won European Union approval to buy loss-making rival Olympic Air at the second attempt, after a new antitrust investigation found Olympic would close down if the deal was blocked. Aegean has said the proposed EURU72 million (USD$96.4 million) deal is crucial for both airlines amid a decline in domestic demand in recession-hit Greece. "It is clear that, due to the on-going Greek crisis and given Olympic's own very difficult financial situation, Olympic would be forced to leave the market soon in any event," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said on Wednesday Oct. 9 to Reuters. "Therefore we approved the merger because it has no additional negative effect on competition," he added. The EU competition authority, which vetoed Aegean's first attempt to buy Olympic in 2011 from investment group Marfin, said the number of overlapping routes serviced by both carriers had been reduced since its decision almost three years ago. It also said...

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