EU likely to greenlight ITA Airways’ acquisition by Lufthansa, reports Bloomberg

Italy wants to ban dynamic ticket pricing on domestic flights under certain conditions
Davide Calabresi /

The European Commission’s approval of the proposed acquisition by the Lufthansa Group of an equity stake in Italian airline ITA Airways is expected by July 4, 2024, reports Bloomberg

According to these reports, the final decision on the deal is currently being drafted by European competition officials is expected to greenlight the deal after the German airline group included remedial measures to mitigate potential adverse effects on competition in some key markets. 

The EU’s approval is needed for Lufthansa to be able to move ahead with its plan to integrate the Italian carrier (which succeeded Alitalia as Italy’s flag carrier) into its portfolio of airlines, which already includes SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines Discover Airlines and Eurowings. 

Lufthansa Group acquired 41% of ITA Airways for €325 million (US$349 million) in May 2023 and has signalled its intention to acquiring the remaining 59% from the Italian state for an additional €500 million, subject to achieving certain performance indicators by 2026. 

This move prompted an investigation by the European Commission, which subsequently identified several areas of concern, such as the potential competition reduction in key long-haul markets and a likely dominant position at Milan Linate (LIN) airport. 

While the final conditions set up by the European Commission are not yet known, it has been reported that Lufthansa Group had proposed to keep ITA Airways’ transatlantic business separate for a number of years as a way to allay the competition watchdog’s concerns. 

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