IAG may get EU warning on Air Europa deal if no remedies in coming weeks, source says


By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS, Feb 22 (Reuters) - British Airways owner IAG ICAG.L may get a warning from EU antitrust regulators on its 400-million-euro ($432.4 million) bid to buy out Air Europa if it does not offer remedies in the coming months, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

The European Commission opened a full-scale investigation into the deal last month, saying it may reduce competition on domestic routes to the Balearic and Canary islands, and on short-haul routes between Madrid and the main cities in Europe, Israel, Morocco, Britain and Switzerland.

The EU competition enforcer said long-haul routes between Madrid and North and South America may also see less competition.

IAG, which also owns Iberia, could see a charge sheet known as a statement of objections setting out the Commission's concerns about the deal, in the coming weeks if no remedies are offered before then, the person said.

The Commission, which is set to decide on the deal by June 7, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

IAG's Chief Executive Luis Gallego has previously said he is ready to offer remedies to address the EU concerns, saying it was talking to companies which may potentially take up the remedies.

IAG wants to buy the 80% of Air Europa it did not already own from Spain's Globalia.

The carriers terminated a previous deal in 2021 after EU regulators indicated their remedies were insufficient to alleviate competition concerns.

($1 = 0.9252 euros)

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by David Evans)

((foo.yunchee@thomsonreuters.com; +32 2 585 2866; Reuters Messaging: foo.yunchee.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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