European regulator approves IAG-BMI merger with conditions
02 April 2012
British Airways parent International Consolidated Airline Group (IAG) won European Union conditional antitrust approval for its £172.5 million ($275 million) acquisition of Deutsche Lufthansa's BMI unit.
The Brussels-based regulator, the European Commission (EC) has asked IAG to cede 14 of the 56 takeoff and landing slots at Heathrow airport controlled by BMI to to rivals.
IAG must also commit to carry connecting passengers to feed the long-haul flights of rival airlines out of London Heathrow in order to maintain competition.
With IAG agreeing to the conditions, the EC said that the acquisition "would not raise competition concerns."
Joaquin Almunia, the Commissioner for EC, said, "The commitments package includes an appropriate number of very sought-after slots at London Heathrow as well as far-reaching feeder arrangements as regards connecting passengers.
"We are therefore satisfied that the competitive dynamics will be maintained so as to ensure choice and quality of air services for passengers."