Antitrust watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Tata group’s plan to merge its full-service carriers Air India and Vistara.
The nod clears the decks for the merger – the combined entity will retain the Air India brand and the Vistara brand will be retired. The fair-trade regulator’s approval is a must for mergers and acquisitions.
Air India is fully owned by Tata Sons, while Vistara is a joint-venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, with an equity split of 51% and 49%, respectively. Singapore Airlines will hold a 25.1% in the merged airline.
In April, Tata Sons, Singapore Airlines, Air India, and Vistara had jointly filed for the regulator’s approval to the proposed merger.
Approval wasn’t automatic: In June, CCI issued a notice to Air India, seeking clarification on why its proposed merger with Vistara should not be investigated over concerns about competition. The two Tata group airlines are understood to have told the CCI that there is strong competition from rivals on most of its routes.
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