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Olympic Air-Aegean Airlines Merger Hit Obstacles

The European Commission will decide whether or not to approve the merger between Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines on 12 January 2011, according to European Commissioner for Competition, Joaquin Almunia. The merger was expected to receive approval by 7 December 2010.

Speaking at a conference in Brussels on European Competition Day in late October, Mr. Almunia underlined that the big problem with the merger was that the two carriers controlled almost all the Greek domestic market.

Mr. Almunia compared the Olympic Air-Aegean Airlines deal with the Aer Lingus-Ryanair deal in Ireland, which was rejected by former Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes in 2007.

“As in previous cases with airlines, the commission must ensure that the consolidation in the aviation sector will not be unfavorable to consumers and businesses in Europe,” the EU Commissioner said.

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