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Bundeskartellamt clears merger between Airbus and Bombardier

Date of issue: 06.12.2017

The Bundeskartellamt has cleared the acquisition of C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, Canada ("CSALP"), a subsidiary of Bombardier Inc. Montreal, Canada, by Airbus SE, Leiden, Netherlands.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: "The merger will not significantly impede effective competition in this sector. As Airbus manufactures mainly commercial aircraft with a seating capacity of more than 150 seats and the Bombardier subsidiary CSALP manufactures exclusively smaller aircraft, the companies are not in close competition with one another. CSALP does have a strong position on the worldwide market for smaller aircraft with 100 to 150 seats. However, our investigations have shown that this type of aircraft is of secondary importance for European and, in particular, German carriers."

Airbus is active worldwide as a manufacturer of commercial single and twin aisle aircraft. Depending on the model, single aisle aircraft have a seating capacity of around 100 to 240 seats. In the single aisle category Airbus offers the models A319ceo/neo, A320 ceo/neo and A321 ceo/neo.

With its models CS100 and CS300 (so-called "C Series") Bombardier specialises in the manufacture of single aisle aircraft with a seating capacity of 100 to 150 seats.

Airbus, Boeing, CSALP and Embraer are the four major manufacturers active on the worldwide market for commercial aircraft construction. Airbus is a powerful supplier on a possible market covering all single aisle aircraft. However, CSALP's market shares in such a widely defined market are marginal, meaning that the merger would only result in a very low market share addition. There is also no close competitive relationship between Airbus and CSALP on such a market. Air carriers buying aircraft from the Airbus family often buy aircraft from the whole Airbus product range, in particular aircraft of the category A320 und A321 with a seating capacity of more than 150 seats. Here Airbus is in direct competition with the manufacturer Boeing, not CSALP.

However, CSALP is a powerful supplier on a market covering solely aircraft with a seating capacity of 100 to 150 seats. The Brazilian air carrier Embraer is the main competitor in this segment. However, aircraft in this seating category are of secondary importance for European air carriers and in particular for German carriers. Accordingly, the Bundeskartellamt's investigations showed that the market for single aisle aircraft with a seating capacity of 100 to 150 seats constitutes a minor market, on which in the last business year 2016 a turnover of less than 15 million euros was achieved in Germany.

The proposed merger is also pending before the competition authorities in Austria and Canada and might still have to be notified to other competition authorities.

Press release (pdf)

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