DOJ, EU Clear Delta-Virgin Atlantic Deal
European and U.S. regulators gave Delta Air Lines the green light to buy almost half of Virgin Atlantic on Thursday.
Working “closely together,” the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission approved Delta’s plan to acquire Singapore Airlines’ 49% of Virgin Atlantic Airways for $360 million. The regulators also approved plans for the two airlines to form a trans-Atlantic joint venture.
Delta first announced plans to acquire an interest in Virgin Atlantic in December, 2011.
The government regulators said that the deal does not pose an antitrust threat in the fiercely competitive trans-Atlantic market, dominated by American Airlines and British Airways, which also have a joint venture. The European Commission noted that American and BA “are capable of exercising a significant competitive constraint on the combined entity.” The New York-London market is the busiest aviation route in the world.
The deal still requires approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which Delta hopes to secure by the end of the year.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)