BRUSSELS May 16 EU antitrust regulators will
decide by June 20 whether to clear a bid by Delta Air Lines
for a 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic, which
would help Delta to better compete with rivals United
Continental and American Airlines.
Delta unveiled the deal in December last year, which
involves setting up a joint venture which will let the U.S.
carrier and its British peer offer more flights at Heathrow,
Europe's busiest airport.
Antitrust lawyers say regulators may be concerned about the
reduced incentive for the two companies to compete against each
other once they set up the joint venture.
Airlines typically offer to give up airport slots or offer
rivals access to their frequent flyer programmes to allay such
Delta requested EU regulatory approval for the deal on
Wednesday, the European Commission website showed.