EC shows concerns regarding proposed acquisition of 41% shareholding in ITA by Lufthansa

The European Commission (EC), after initiating an in-depth review of proposed acquisition of 41% shareholding in Italia Trasporto Aereo S.p.A. (ITA) by Deutsche Lufthansa AG (Lufthansa) from Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), has sent statement of objections highlighting concerns regarding restriction in competition on “certain routes in the market for passenger air transport services in and out of Italy”. ITA – target, is a full service airline, solely owned by MEF and operates domestic & international flights from Italy, principally, from its hubs in Rome & Milan; whereas, Lufthansa – acquirer, is a global full-service carrier from Germany, operating from its principal hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna & Brussels. According to EC, owing to Lufthansa’s partnership with carriers in US, Canada & Japan, if the proposed acquisition is allowed, it can lead to higher prices & lower quality of services for passenger flying to & from Italy.