March 3, 2011 / 3:45 PM / 7 years ago

Brazil passes TAM's merger with LAN, shares rise

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil’s civil aviation authority passed on Thursday the planned combination between Brazilian airline TAM TAMM4.SA and Chilean rival LAN with no restrictions, giving a boost to their project to create Latin America’s largest airline.

The authority, known as ANAC, said in the government’s official gazette that the process was approved “in the same mold that it was presented.” The media office of ANAC had confirmed on Wednesday the decision to award permission to TAM and its largest rival LAN.

The news comes after antitrust regulators in Chile, where LAN LAN.SN is based, halted in January the integration between the carriers, citing it could potentially harm competition. The combined airline, which would be named LATAM, would become Latin America’s biggest airline.

The process still requires authorization from other regulatory entities in Brazil.

Shares of TAM TAMM4.SA, Brazil’s largest airline, rose for a second day in Sao Paulo, gaining 1.3 percent to 36.04 reais.

Shares of LAN rose 1.6 percent in Santiago.

Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Jr.; Writing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick

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