Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The European Commission announced in a press release earlier today that it's initial review of the proposed merger between Greece's two major carriers, Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines, produced sufficient competition concerns to warrant an in-depth probe. The Commission blocked a previous merger attempt by Olympic and Aegean in 2011. Today's press release gave little indication that the outcome will be different this time around. In the press release the Commission identified six routes on which the merged entity would have a monopoly, as compared with nine such routes that would have been created under the first merger attempt. The Commission also expressed serious concern about the viability of existing or future competitors within the affected markets and indicated that Aegean's proposed commitments were inadequate. A final decision is expected by the beginning of September.