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EU to review Aegean bid for Olympic on October 16.

The European Commission has extended the deadline for a decision on Aegean Airlines' revised bid to take over struggling Olympic and become the largest carrier in Greece.

Aegean has reportedly offered new concessions to gain EU antitrust approval for its second attempt to take over rival Olympic Air from Andreas Vgenopoulos' Marfin Investment Group (MIG), indicating an earlier offer had failed to ease competition concerns over the deal.

Faced with declining traffic in its domestic market due to the country's prolonged recession, loss-making Aegean has said the proposed 72-mln-euro ($96.4 mln) acquisition was crucial for its survival.

It submitted a fresh set of concessions to the Commission last week, but did not provide details.

Aegean offered in March to cap fares on some domestic routes but this failed to stop the regulator from widening its investigation into the deal, worried that the combined entity would have a monopoly or strong position on some of these routes.

Near-bankrupt Cyprus Airways, that is seeking state aid from the Cypriot government, threw a spanner in the works when it cut down its inter-Greece flight network, leaving the merged Aegean-Olympic as the sole carrier on most routes.

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Publication:Financial Mirror (Cyprus)
Date:Aug 12, 2013
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