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Published on Monday, April 5, 2021

EU blocks Air Canada takeover of Transat AT

EU regulators shot down Air Canada's proposed takeover of airline and tour operator Transat AT, leaving Transat in a precarious financial position.

Air Canada scrapped the deal after learning the European Commission would not approve the deal in its current form.

Air Canada said it offered 'a significant package of remedies' to meet anti-trust concerns.

'Air Canada has concluded that providing additional, onerous remedies, which may still not secure an EC approval, would significantly compromise' profitability on transatlantic routes," the airline said.

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said Air Canada had not made sufficient concessions to mitigate competition concerns.

"The proposed transaction would raise competition concerns on a large number of transatlantic routes. Based on the results of the market test, the remedies offered appeared insufficient," Vestager said.

A Transat spokesman said the company is 'reviewing its options' but has looming deadlines this month for paying off shot term loans.

It has been in talks with the provincial Quebec and federal governments over urgent financial aid.

It is still 'confident we will be able to secure the necessary financing in the coming weeks,' Transat AT spokesman Christophe Hennebelle said.


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  • What is this to do with the EU?

    Why is the EU allowed to interfere in this, which seems to be very much a domestic Canadian affair? Who will gain if Transat AT goes bust, because of the takeover being blocked by the EU, would that be in everyone's best interests, it would seem unlikely?

    By Richard Earl of Bradford, Tuesday, April 6, 2021

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