November 17, 2010 / 11:11 AM / 9 years ago

EU's Almunia: looking for Olympic, Aegean solution

BRUSSELS, Nov 17 (Reuters) - EU regulators are still seeking suitable remedies from Greek carriers Aegean Airlines (AGNr.AT) and privatised rival Olympic [OLY.UL] before deciding whether to clear it, the EU’s competition chief said on Wednesday.

“We are finding some difficulties, we are in contact with the parties, we still have time to find an adequate solution. We are preparing our final decision in close contact with the parties in finding an adequate solution,” Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia told a news conference.

The Commission has set a Jan. 12 deadline for its decision. The merger would create a dominant carrier in Greece’s domestic market, with a fleet of 64 aircraft and a workforce of 5,850 employees.

Buyout firm Marfin Investment Group (MRFr.AT) acquired Olympic last year despite a higher Aegean offer because of Greek government concerns that the EU competition watchdog might block a combined Aegean, Olympic deal.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Timothy Heritage

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