EU Commission clears Lufthansa’s acquisition of Air Berlin assets

BRUSSELS –  The European Commission cleared Lufthansa’s (LHAG.DE) acquisition of insolvent Air Berlin’s (AB1.DE) subsidiary LGW, subject to conditions, the EU’s executive said on Thursday.

Lufthansa agreed to forego a number of slots at Duesseldorf airport to ease the Commission’s competition concerns. “Lufthansa has put forward improved remedies that make sure the effects of its LGW acquisition on competition are limited,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Earlier, Lufthansa had scrapped plans also to buy Austrian leisure airline Niki, founded by former Formula 1 champion and aviation entrepreneur Niki Lauda, after the Commission had indicated it would veto such a deal.

The European airline industry has this year witnessed the demise of Monarch and Air Berlin, while Italian flag carrier Alitalia

has filed for insolvency protection. Reuters reported earlier this week that the Commission would clear the purchase of LGW.

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