To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of the (a) domestic and (b) European regulatory regimes in ensuring consideration is given to the effect on routes of airline mergers and takeovers.
None. Mergers are regulated on the basis of whether or not they substantially lessen competition in markets. This test is applied in all mergers by the independent competition authorities, who have discretion to include any relevant criteria appropriate to determine whether or not a merger substantially lessens competition. Previous merger investigations in the airline sector by both the UK and EU competition authorities have considered effects on airline routes.