March 27, 2024

European Commission informs Lufthansa of competition concerns regarding ITA Airways acquisition

On March 25, 2024, the European Commission sent a Statement of Objections to the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance (“MEF”) and Germany-based Deutsche Lufthansa AG, expressing concerns regarding Lufthansa’s proposed acquisition for joint control of Italy-based ITA Airways.

After conducting an in-depth investigation into the potential impact of the acquisition on customers, the Commission reported voiced concerns that the acquisition could reduce competition regarding certain short-haul routes connecting Italy with countries in Central Europe, and certain long-haul routes between Italy and the United States, Canada and Japan.  The Commission was also concerned that the acquisition could give ITA a dominant position at the Milan-Linate airport and make it harder for competitors to provide passenger air transport services to and from that airport.

In response to the Statement of Objection, Lufthansa and the MEF have the opportunity to reply to the Statement of Objections, consult the Commission’s case file, and request an oral hearing.  If they so choose, Lufthansa and the MEF have until April 26, 2024 to propose remedies to address the Commission’s competition concerns.

European Commission Press Release