The OFT has announced that the anticipated acquisition by Flybe Group Ltd (Flybe) of the BA Connect business of British Airways plc will not be referred to the Competition Commission under section 33 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the Act) because the OFT is considering whether, instead of making a reference, to accept appropriate undertakings pursuant to section 73 of the Act, from Flybe to address the competition concerns arising from the merger.

The OFT believes that it is or may be the case that the transaction has resulted or may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition (SLC) in relation to the supply of scheduled passenger air transport services on one route from Southampton to Manchester.

Flybe has offered to give undertakings to provide, if certain conditions precedent are met, a potential new entrant on this route with a parking stand at Southampton Airport in order to facilitate entry.