The European Commission has approved, subject to conditions, the acquisition of First Choice, a UK travel services company, by TUI, a German group active in tourism and shipping services. The Commission’s investigation showed that this acquisition could damage competition, as the transaction would create horizontal overlaps in the supply of package holidays in UK and Ireland. However, in the UK the new group would not be dominant on the markets concerned. In contrast, the new group would control 50 per cent of the short-haul package holidays market in Ireland. The group would also detain the largest Irish network of travel agencies. In answer to the Commission’s concerns, the TUI will divest its Irish business, Budget Travel.