Imminent EU elections could push Brussels towards approving Lufthansa-ITA deal

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Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr is confident that European Commission competition authorities are ready to green light the group’s takeover of state-owned Italian carrier ITA Airways. A decision could come this week ahead of EU elections on June 6-9 and the continental political dynamics could tip the scales in favor of the deal.

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His confidence, expressed during a media briefing at the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting in Dubai on June 3, is somewhat surprising. Reports out of Brussels paint the picture of a regulator that is highly skeptical of the deal that would expand the size and clout of the continent’s largest intercontinental airline group.

“I think we are in the week of decision making,” Spohr said. “I think the Italian government and the Italian voters expect an answer before the European election on Sunday.”

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