British competition watchdog investigates IAG's Air Europa deal

British competition regulator looking into IAG's purchase of Air Europa
British competition regulator looking into IAG's purchase of Air Europa   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  
By Reuters

<div> <p> -Britain’s competition regulator is examining whether British Airways owner <span class="caps">IAG</span>’s planned 500 million euro ($563.2 million) purchase of Spain’s Air Europa would harm competition in the UK, the watchdog said on Monday.</p> <p><span class="caps">IAG</span> had announced its plans to buy Air Europa for 1 billion euros in 2019, but the price was cut in half this year after the airline industry was sent into a tailspin by the <span class="caps">COVID</span>-19 pandemic.</p> <p>The British company has already offered concessions to address EU antitrust concerns over the deal, a filing showed last month, though details were not provided.</p> <p>The European Commission opened an in-depth investigation in June, voicing concerns that the proposed transaction would reduce competition on Spanish domestic routes and on international routes to and from Spain. </p> <p>The deal, which involves Iberia buying Air Europa on behalf of <span class="caps">IAG</span>, had sparked opposition from the Unite union over jobs and from rival carriers. </p> <p>The Competition and Markets Authority (<span class="caps">CMA</span>) said it has a Jan. 19 deadline for its initial investigation decision. </p> <p>“We will collaborate with the <span class="caps">CMA</span>. The London-Madrid route is highly competitive and is already part of the European Commission (investigation) process,” <span class="caps">IAG</span> said on Monday.</p> <p>($1 = 0.8878 euros)</p> </div>