EU clears BA-Iberia merger for take-off

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The Independent Online

The European Commission has signed off both the merger of British Airways and Iberia and proposals for the newly merged group to tie up with American Airlines (AA).

The creation of the International Airlines Group holding company – under which the two European brands would continue to operate separately – can now go ahead, subject to shareholder approval, with no conditions from Europe's competition regulator. The deal will create Europe's second-biggest airline, after Lufthansa. With regards to the plan for closer links with the US carrier, the watchdog has given the go-ahead on the condition that four pairs of take-off and landing slots at Heathrow are given up. The AA plans must still be granted "anti-trust immunity" by the US Department of Transportation.

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