EU’s new failing firm defence benchmark

Author: Danielle Myles | Published: 6 Nov 2013
  • The first deal to be blocked and then subsequently cleared by the European Commission’s competition authority has reached financial close;
  • Aegean’s acquisition of struggling Olympic Air is only the fourth deal to successfully argue the failing firm defence since its inception 20 years ago;
  • It shows that blocked transactions might be approved upon a subsequent filing, if the deal’s circumstances have substantially changed during that period;
  • Lawyers in Brussels disagree over whether the Aegean-Olympic approval represents a relaxation of the European Commission’s approach to so-called rescue mergers.

Aegean Airlines’ buyout of Olympic Air, the deal at the centre of the European Commission’s unprecedented acceptance of the failing firm defence, has closed.

It is the first deal to be blocked and then subsequently cleared by...