Monday, March 12, 2012
International Airlines Group (IAG) reportedly offered to relinquish slots at Heathrow airport to expedite regulatory approval of its planned purchase of BMI British Midland, and by doing so extended the deadline for the European Commission to render its initial decision from March 16 to March 30. According to reports, the European Commission is expected to reject the concessions and begin a full competition probe. See Alex Barker & Andrew Parker, IAG Faces Lengthy BMI Takeover Probe, Financial Times, March 12, 2012 (available here). IAG received good news last week when the UK Office of Fair Trading announced it would not conduct a separate review of the transaction. See Press Release, Office of Fair Trading, OFT Statement on IAG/BMI Merger, March 5, 2012 (available here). However, if the EC proceeds with a full review the acquisition will be substantially delayed.