European airlines are facing unexpectedly high regulatory hurdles in their efforts to consolidate, as the European Commission (EC) seeks to push through major concessions to keep competition intact. Only last week, the commission raised objections to the planned takeover of Austrian Airlines by Lufthansa. It questions whether a €500-million ($645-million) aid package that has been part of the December 2008 deal “can be declared compatible with the common market” and it doubts “whether ...

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