EU extends probe into Lufthansa's takeover of Brussels Airlines

29th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

EU regulators extended on Monday an antitrust probe into Lufthansa's plans to buy SN Brussels Airlines over concerns the deal may hurt competition, the European Commission said.

BRUSSELS - The commission, Europe's top antitrust watchdog, said that its first look at the takeover had raised concerns that it might create a monopoly on key routes between Brussels and major cities in Germany and Switzerland.

Therefore, it decided to extend its investigation by another 90 working days --- until 10 June 2009 -- before ruling on whether to let it go ahead or block it.

"At a time of consolidation in the European airline sector, the Commission must make sure that consumers will continue to have a competitive choice of airline services both as regards fares and routes," Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.

German carrier said in September that it planned to acquire full control of SN Brussels Airlines, the surviving rump of Belgium's former flag carrier Sabena.


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