Alitalia gets green light for Wind Jet acquisition

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Italy's competition regulator, AGCM, has given the green light for Alitalia's acquisition of its Catania, Sicily-based rival, Wind Jet on the condition that it relinquishes a handful of slots.

For the deal to go ahead, the combined carrier must give up two slot pairs on the Catania-Milan Linate route, one slot pair between Palermo and Milan Linate and a further two slot pairs on the Catania-Rome Fiumicino route.

This is necessary, says AGCM, to "eliminate the anti-competitive effects that would otherwise be created" on the routes.

The slot re-allocation, which will apply for two years after the 2012 summer season, will be managed by an independent third party who will ensure the bidders are not linked to Alitalia or the SkyTeam alliance, it says.

Alitalia had originally planned a three-way tie-up with Wind Jet and Blue Panorama, but failed to find agreement with the latter.