The German department store and mail order company, KarstadtQuelle, and its UK target are both players on the travel market. The concentration would lead to horizontal overlaps, notably for the supply of package holidays in the UK and Ireland. Nevertheless, the European Commission has stated that the deal would not harm consumers. It found that the combined market shares of the parties would not enable them to act in an anticompetitive way. The internet also allows customers to access a large number of offers and compare them through dedicated websites. This prevents the risk of co-ordination of prices or capacity among the major tour operators. It is the first time since the Court of First Instance annulled the Airtours/First Choice decision in 2002 that the Commission has carried out a second phase investigation of the travel market.
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