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Singapore approves Air India-Vistara deal with conditions

 

Today, Singapore’s competition watchdog announced its approval of the merger between Tata Group-owned Air India and sister airline Vistara, a joint venture between Tata and Singapore Airlines. The merger aims to establish a dominant full-service airline in both domestic and international markets, a plan unveiled by Singapore’s flagship carrier in November 2022.

Although India’s antitrust body greenlit the deal in September of the previous year, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) had initially raised certain competition concerns. Specifically, the watchdog identified that the merging parties held a significant market share on direct flights between Singapore and key Indian cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Tiruchirapalli.

In response to these concerns, the involved parties proposed measures to address potential competition issues. These measures include maintaining capacity on the identified routes at pre-COVID levels, appointing independent auditors to oversee compliance with capacity commitments, and submitting regular annual and interim reports. The CCCS deemed these proposed commitments sufficient to mitigate competition concerns arising from the merger.

As of the deal’s terms, Tata would control 74.9% of the combined entity, spanning autos-to-steel conglomerate, while Singapore Airlines would retain the remaining 25.1%. At the time of reporting, neither Singapore Airlines nor Air India had responded to Reuters’ request for comment.

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