The European Commission has cleared, under the EU Merger Regulation, Regulation (EC) No 139/2004, the acquisition of joint control over Meridiana fly S.p.A., by Qatar Airways Q.C.S.C. and Alisarda S.p.A. This concentration does not raise competition concerns, because the companies’ activities on the overlapping routes are very limited or these routes have a very low traffic density.
Meridiana is an Italian airline and operates scheduled and charter passenger services and cargo services to destinations in Europe and Northern Africa and some destinations in the Americas and Asia.
Qatar Airways is a Qatari full-service airline and operates international scheduled passenger air services and cargo services from its hub airport in Doha, Qatar.
Alisarda is an Italian holding company and provides scheduled and chartered air passenger transport, tour organization, aircraft maintenance and airport administration services through its subsidiaries including Meridiana.
The proposed transaction entails the acquisition by Alisarda of a 51% shareholding and by Qatar Airways of a 49% shareholding in a newly formed holding company (“HoldCo”), to which Alisarda will contribute the entire outstanding share capital of Meridiana. As a result of the transaction, Qatar Airways and Alisarda will have joint control over HoldCo and thus indirectly over Meridiana.