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European Commission Skeptical On Major Airline Merger

The European Commission may reject the merger plan between Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines due to competition concerns, press reports said last month.

According to reports, European Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia met with both airline companies early last month but seemed not to be convinced that the Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines deal would not create a monopoly.

The two airline companies said they would go to the European Court if the decision were negative and claim damages from the European Commission. Early last year Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines announced plans to merge and create a “national airline champion.”

However, the merger of the two airlines “does not seem to suit the Euro-leaders in Brussels,” press reports said.

The decision of the European Commission should have been announced on 7 December 2010 but was then postponed to January 2011. By the time we went to press a decision had not been announced.

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