The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of British Midland by Lufthansa. Lufthansa provides scheduled passenger and cargo transport and related services (for example, maintenance, repair and overhaul services, in-flight catering, and IT services) from its operating bases at Frankfurt International airport, Munich airport and Düsseldorf airport. Lufthansa’s subsidiaries include the Swiss, Air Dolomiti, Eurowings and Germanwings. Lufthansa is also in the process of acquiring Brussels Airlines and the Commission treated Brussels Airlines as a subsidiary of Lufthansa. British Midland, through its subsidiaries (bmi mainline, bmi regional, and bmibaby) provides scheduled passenger transport services along with limited cargo and maintenance operations. Bmi mainline operates from London Heathrow while bmi regional and bmibaby operate from a number of regional bases in the UK. Lufthansa’s and British Midland’s activities overlap in the areas of passenger transport by air, cargo transport by air and maintenance, repair and overhaul operations services.
Regarding passenger transport, the Commission examined the impact of the proposed transaction on a sample of short and long-haul routes and found that on many of these routes the parties (who are members of the Star Alliance) already cooperate with each other and found that each party would be unlikely to start operating flights on those routes on which it currently only markets flights operated by the other party. The same conclusion was reached for all other routes where the parties currently do not cooperate as the combined entity would continue to face sufficient competition on these routes. Due to the limited scope of British Midland’s operations on the cargo transport, maintenance, repair and overhaul services markets the Commission's investigation confirmed that the proposed merger would not have any significant impact.