Delta has announced that European regulators have cleared the Delta Air Lines purchase of Northwest Airlines. This could be a significant issue for any business who sells to one of these airlines.
The Regulators noted that the merger will not “not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it.”
The European analysis process is a speedy one – the parties notified the Commission that they intended to merge on June 23, the Commission published the issue for notification and a ten-day comment period on July 1, and then Delta was able to publish its press release announcing acceptance on August 6 (as of the 7th, the official notice is not yet available online in the EU Official Journal).
Delta claims that together, the two airlines will have one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry and be better positioned for long-term success despite adverse economic cycles. The merger is still subject to the approval the stockholders of the two companies, and to the clearance of the U.S. Department of Justice. All three processes are expected to be completed later this year.
The Delta press release is available online.
For more information on European Merger Analysis, see the European Commission Competition Website.