EC approval for Aegean's purchase of rival Olympic Air

The European Commission (EC) has given its approval for Greek Aegean Airlines to buy loss-making rival Olympic Air. (Release)

The approval comes after an EC investigation found Olympic would go out of business "very soon" if the deal was blocked, leaving Aegean as a sole provider in the market with no competitor.

The EC said in a statement today that their investigation has shown that "there is no other credible purchaser other than Aegean interested in acquiring Olympic. There has also been no expression of any credible interest in the acquisition of Olympic's assets including its brand." It concluded that "any competitive harm caused by Olympic's disappearance as an independent competitor is not caused by the merger. As a consequence, the merger is compatible with the internal market and must be authorised."

This is Aegean's second attempt at buying Olympic after the EC prohibited its attempt in 2011.