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Korean Air’s Acquisition of Asiana Approved by Chinese Regulators

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

The Ministry of Commerce of the PRC (MOFCOM) approved Korean Air’s Acquisition of Asiana on Monday December 26, 2022. Korean Air is still waiting mandatory reporting approval from the U.S., EU, and Japan, as well as an arbitrary final review by the U.K.

Asiana Airbus A350-900 - Courtesy Airbus

On Monday (December 26, 2022), Korean Air announced that the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) has approved the carrier’s acquisition of Asiana. MOFCOM’s approval of the business combination requires that the merged entity reduces its market share due to competition concerns. Korean Air has submitted remedies, including the transfer of slots to any new airlines wishing to operate on nine routes served by both Korean Air and Asiana. The Korean Fair Trade Commission proposed five of the nine routes earlier this year and MOFCOM proposed the additional four routes.

Korean Air Submits Nine Routes to Alleviate Asiana Acquisition Competition Concerns - Courtesy Korean Air

The carrier expects that the Chinese regulatory approval will play a positive role in the review process of the remaining competition authorities. Currently, Korean Air is awaiting approvals from the U.S., EU, and Japan, where reporting is mandatory, as well as final approval from the UK, where reporting is arbitrary. The airline submitted business combination reports to the nine countries which require reporting on January 14, 2021, of which approval has been received from China, Korea, Turkey, Taiwan and Vietnam. The Thailand Competition Commission and the Philippines stated that a business combination report was not necessary, while among countries where reporting is arbitrary, Korean Air has also received approval from Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.

Source: Korean Air


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