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Turbulence Ahead: Lufthansa's Stake Bid Faces EU Antitrust Scrutiny



Lufthansa's recent bid to secure a 41% stake in ITA Airways has triggered concerns among European Union antitrust regulators about potential competition reduction in Italy-bound flights.


Valued at €325 million ($353 million) as part of an extended capital plan, Lufthansa's move is now under intensive scrutiny from the European Commission.


The investigation focuses on possible repercussions on passenger air transport services, both short and long-haul, citing potential impacts on routes connecting Italy with Central European nations and long-distance flights to the United States, Canada, Japan, and India.


The EU competition watchdog further raised alarms about the prospective dominance of ITA at Milan-Linate Airport and will explore whether the merged entities, including Lufthansa and its joint venture partners, could compromise fair competition.


In response, Lufthansa has expressed its commitment to collaborating closely with the European Commission, emphasizing confidence in the approval of the deal post-comprehensive investigation. Meanwhile, Italy maintains plans to proceed with the sale of the stake, hoping for a verdict before the June 6 deadline, aligning with the peak summer travel season.


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