Financial news

European Commission to open in-depth investigation (Phase II) into merger between Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines

Following the completion of its preliminary anti-trust investigation (Phase 1) into the merger between Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines, the European Commission today announced that it will open an in-depth investigation (Phase II) into the tie-up.

Following the completion of its preliminary anti-trust investigation (Phase 1) into the merger between Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines, the European Commission today announced that it will open an in-depth investigation (Phase II) into the tie-up.

Anti-trust approval of the planned merger has already been granted by the respective competition authorities in the United States of America, Canada, Turkey, Israel, Albania, Bosnia and Ukraine. Regulatory clearance for Serbia is expected to be granted shortly.

The public takeover offer is subject, in particular, to the suspensive conditions pertaining to (i) anti-trust immunity granted by the European Commission and (ii) approval by the Commission of 500m euros in restructuring aid to be granted to Austrian Airlines by the Austrian government. These conditions of the takeover offer must be fulfilled by 31 July 2009.

Due to the fact that since many years a joint venture exists between Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines the opening of the in-depth investigation (Phase II) is surprising for Lufthansa. Nevertheless Lufthansa remains confident to receive the necessary approvals with justifiable remedies.