On 26 January 2011, the proposed merger between Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines was blocked by the Commission on the basis that it would have resulted in a quasi-monopoly on nine routes. The Commission believes that this would have resulted in higher fares for the majority of travellers to, and from, Athens. Over 90 per cent of the Greek domestic air transport market is controlled by the two airlines. An investigation by the Commission found the chances of a new airline of sufficient size entering into this market and competing with the merged entity to be unlikely. Competition Commissioner Almunia indicated that attempts were made to resolve the situation but ultimately “the remedies offered by the companies would not have adequately protected the interests of the four million consumers that use the routes”. This is one of only 20 cases in which the Commission has blocked a merger outright in the past 20 years.
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Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines merger blocked by Commission
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Senior Patent Counsel
Royal DSM NV