CMA clears airport services merger

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has today cleared Menzies Aviation’s takeover of part of Airline Services’ business after an in-depth investigation allayed competition concerns.

Both firms supply airlines in the UK with support services including the de-icing of aircraft and ground handling.

An initial Phase 1 probe raised concerns that the merger could result in less choice and higher prices or a reduction in quality for these services for airlines at a number of key airports in England and Scotland. These concerns led to the merger being referred to a Group of independent CMA Panel members for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation.

The CMA has today issued its final decision. Having thoroughly scrutinised the wider evidence base considered in the Phase 2 inquiry, it has found that the market for ground handling services has a strong recent history of companies entering and competing for contracts. The CMA also found that Menzies and Airline Services are not close competitors in the market for de-icing services, meaning the takeover would not lead to a substantial lessening of competition.

The CMA has therefore decided to clear the merger.

Further information can be found on our case page.

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