EC blocks proposed Greek airline merger

EC blocks proposed Greek airline merger

The European Commission (EC) has blocked the proposed merger of Olympic Air with AEGEAN Airlines, it has been confirmed. Following an investigation which lasted 10 months, the EC has announced that the merger between the two Greek airlines will be prohibited because it could lead to a “quasi-monopoly”. The transaction had been agreed by the main shareholders of the airlines in February last year, and was subject to the approval by the European Competition Commission. However, following the EC’s decision, the agreement between the two parties is dissolved. “Throughout last year we presented to the European Commission the benefits of the merger for our companies, our passengers and our country’s economy,” said Theodore Vassilakis, chairman of AEGEAN. “We also offered important commitments to safeguard consumers as well as measures to facilitate the entry of new competitors in the domestic market. Unfortunately, the EC decided to prohibit the agreement. An important opportunity for a consolidated representation in the European aviation market has been lost.” Andreas Vgenopoulos, chairman of the BoD of MARFIN INVESTMENT GROUP, representing Olypmic Air, added: “The EC Decision will have negative consequences for consumers as well as our country’s economy while it will benefit foreign competitors. Obviously we as well as Aegean will continue to do our best for the benefit of our staff, our shareholders and our passengers.”

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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