Lufthansa reexamines purchase of ETA amid EU antitrust demands


(MENAFN) Reports from the Italian newspaper La Repubblica suggest that Lufthansa AG, the German airline, may reconsider its plan to acquire the Italian airline ETA Airways, formerly known as Alitalia. The decision reportedly stems from the stringent demands imposed by the European Union (EU) in relation to the proposed deal. According to Bloomberg News Agency, citing a prominent Italian government official, Lufthansa executives have indicated to European Commission officials their readiness to abandon the acquisition if the costs associated with meeting antitrust requirements outweigh the benefits of completing the transaction.

The deal, valued at 325 million euros (USD352 million), has faced obstacles, leading to its suspension pending an in-depth investigation by European regulatory bodies. Concerns regarding potential competition issues prompted the EU to scrutinize the agreement closely. Bloomberg previously reported that the European Commission was poised to issue a "statement of objections," outlining specific risks associated with the deal.

The possibility of Lufthansa withdrawing from the acquisition underscores the complexities and challenges involved in navigating antitrust regulations within the European aviation sector. The decision reflects the delicate balance between corporate strategies, regulatory compliance, and market dynamics. If Lufthansa indeed opts to abandon the deal, it would mark a significant development in the ongoing saga surrounding the future of Alitalia and its potential integration into the broader aviation landscape.

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