Chilean court rejects LAN's appeal against LATAM merger conditions

Washington DC
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Chile's Supreme Court has today rejected an appeal from LAN against three conditions imposed upon its merger with Brazil's TAM by Chilean anti-trust authorities, but the airline says the LATAM merger will still go ahead.

"LAN and TAM will continue to move forward with the merger within the established timeframes," says LAN.

LAN's CEO Enrique Cueto said last week that the merger should be completed by mid-May, adding that the court's decision will not be a "big issue" for the merger.

Chilean anti-trust regulators approved the merger in September 2011, but this approval was accompanied by 14 conditions. LAN subsequently challenged three of these conditions in Chile's Supreme Court, saying that they were unconstitutional.

Cueto said last week the merger should be completed in about six weeks, and that the two carriers were finalising paperwork with the stock exchanges in the US and Brazil on the exchange of shares between the two airlines.

LAN and TAM had earlier said they would close their merger by the first quarter of 2012 but this has since been slightly delayed. The two airlines, currently in two different airline alliances, have yet to announce which alliance the merged LATAM will be a member of.