EU court rejects Air France-KLM merger challenge

5th Jul 2006

The European Union’s second-highest court threw out on Tuesday a challenge from easyJet to the merger of Air France and KLM, backing a decision by EU regulators to let the deal go through, according to Platts.
British low-cost carrier easyJet was seeking to get the European Court of First Instance to annul the European Commission’s decision in February 2004 to approve the merger of Air France and KLM.

EasyJet held that the EU competition watchdog had underestimated the risk to competition represented by the merger.

But the court upheld the commission’s decision, finding that easyJet had failed to demonstrate that Brussels had made “manifest errors” in its judgement.

EasyJet voiced disappointment at the court’s decision, but did not say if it would appeal. “This merger was waved through by the commission without the due consideration it deserved,” said easyJet chief executive Andy Harrison. “We had hoped the court would give the European Commission a rap over the knuckles for bowing to political pressure and agreeing the merger in double-quick time,” he added.



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