November 29, 2017 / 8:45 AM / a year ago

EU leaning toward blocking Lufthansa's purchase of Air Berlin's Niki -source

FRANKFURT, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The European Commission may block Lufthansa’s takeover of insolvent Air Berlin’s Austrian unit Niki, a person familiar with the matter said, casting doubt on the German carrier’s deal to buy large parts of Air Berlin’s assets.

“The EU Commission is currently leaning toward prohibiting the Niki deal for Lufthansa,” the person told Reuters on Wednesday.

Lufthansa Chief Executive Carsten Spohr will meet with EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Wednesday, he said.

German magazine Spiegel earlier reported on its website that the Commission was considering blocking the deal, without identifying its sources.

Lufthansa declined to comment. The European Commission was not available for immediate comment. (Reporting by Klaus Lauer; additional reporting by Foo Yun Chee; writing by Maria Sheahan; editing by Jason Neely)

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