easyJet has reacted to the acquisition of Eurowings by Lufthansa with the following statement:
Last night the European CommissionÊapproved the planned acquisition of control over Eurowings by Lufthansa without a thorough examination -Êeven though Lufthansa and its partners already have a market share of 57% in Germany.
Given the dominant position of Lufthansa in the German market and the appalling way the European Commission has dealt with this case, easyJet has today sent a letter to Lufthansa CEOÊWolfgang Mayrhuber to ask him three straight questions - three questions to which easyJet believes every passenger in Germany has a right to know the answers. Ê
1)ÊÊÊÊÊÊWhat guarantees can LufthansaÊgive that it will not use its dominant position to raise prices for consumers?
2)ÊÊÊÊÊÊWhat guarantees can LufthansaÊgive that it will not use Eurowings/Germanwings to engage in illegal dumping toÊthe detriment of competition?
3)ÊÊÊÊÊÊHow can it be in the interest of the consumer, if the dominant player tightens its grip on the market? Ê
John Kohlsaat, Country Manager easyJet Germany:
“Unfortunately, history teaches us to be sceptical of monopolies pretending to act in the public interest.”
“This is the third time in two years that the Commission has approved the strengthening ofÊa national airline’s monopoly with only scant attention to the impact on the flying public.ÊThe Commission is supposed to be the Guardian of the EU’s free market, but when it comes to airlines it seems to prefer the creation of national monopolies.”
“Lufthansa’s concessions are a joke. It’s not about a handful of slots on a few routes. When someone controls 57% of the market, you have to look at the market as a whole. All options are now on the table, including a complaint to the European Court of Justice.”
“Basically Lufthansa does not know how to react to the challenge of low-cost airlines. Lufthansa’s answer is to try to buy whatever they can: airlines, Frankfurt airport, air traffic control. This strategy will fail simply because these days it’s not about size but about efficiency, adaptability and, above all,Êa low cost base.”