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Delta gets nod for Virgin Atlantic stake
Aggregated Source: Shanghai Daily: Business

DELTA Air Lines Inc won European and US antitrust approval to buy a 49 percent stake in British airline Virgin Atlantic, antitrust enforcers in Brussels and Washington said yesterday.

The US Justice Department and the European Commission, which is Europe's competition watchdog, both cleared the proposed deal. The US Transportation Department must also approve the joint venture.

The partnership would let both carriers expand at Heathrow, where constraints on landing slots have limited growth. It also gives Delta the firepower to attract prized US corporate travelers as it competes with industry leader United Continental and others.

Delta announced the deal in December, saying the purchase would allow it to expand its access to Heathrow Airport.

"After a thorough investigation of the competitive effects of the proposed equity investment and joint venture, the Antitrust Division concluded that the facts and circumstances did not warrant further investigation or action," the Justice Department said in a statement.

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Copyright Shanghai Daily: Business