EU decision on Lufthansa, United tie-up on Thursday -source

BRUSSELS Thu May 23, 2013 5:02am EDT

BRUSSELS May 23 (Reuters) - EU regulators will announce on Thursday their acceptance of proposals by Lufthansa, United Airlines, Continental and Air Canada to free up airport slots to end an antitrust case, a source familiar with the matter said.

The four airlines' revenue-sharing, pricing and capacity pacts triggered an investigation by the European Commission four years ago, over concerns that the transatlantic tie-up may result in higher prices for premium passengers.

The carriers offered concessions last year, including giving up some slots in Frankfurt and New York.

"The Commission's decision will come today," said the person, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Reuters reported in February that the EU competition authority would accept the airlines' proposals, with no finding of infringement nor any fine.