28-Jul-2010 8:27 AM

European Commission approves United-Continental merger

European Commission announced (27-Jul-2010) it has cleared the proposed merger between United Airlines and Continental Airlines under European Union Merger Regulations. After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it. United and Continental's scheduled air passenger and cargo operations between the EU and the US overlap, with complementary networks due to hubs in different US cities. The proposed merger leads to "small, incremental increases in the market shares of the parties". Their merger will not give rise to competition concerns on any specific trans-Atlantic or European route. [more - European Commission] [more - Merger partners]

United Airlines: "We are pleased to have received this clearance from the European Union, a significant market for our combined new company, and we continue to work cooperatively with the US Department of Justice toward an expeditious completion of our merger, which will benefit our customers, our people, our shareholders and the communities we serve,” Glenn Tilton, Chairman, President and CEO. Source: Company statement, 27-Jul-2010.

Continental Airlines: “Approval from the European Commission is another important step toward completing our merger with United. The combination of United and Continental brings together the two most complementary networks of any US carriers, with minimal domestic and no international route overlaps. Together we will offer customers unparalleled global access,” Jeff Smisek, Chairman, President and CEO. Source: Company statement, 27-Jul-2010.

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