tata: Singapore anti-trust regulator raises concerns over Tata’s AI purchase

NEW DELHI: The Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) has expressed concerns over Tatas acquiring Air India (AI) as three related entities now have a major presence on “overlapping passenger routes” — Delhi-Singapore and Mumbai-Singapore — apart from “overlapping cargo routes” between India and the city state. Singapore Airlines (SIA) is a49% stakeholder in Vistara, which is 51% owned by the Tatas. Now Tatas own 100% of AI.
Together, these three have a major presence on the IndiaSingapore sector. CCCS says it “needs to assess further whether the competitive constraint from other (unrelated) airlines, such as IndiGo, would be sufficient after the transaction. Accordingly, CCCS needs to further review the competition effects of the transaction in greater detail. ”
The commission had this January accepted an application from Talaca, the Tata entity formed for acquiring AI, to decide “whether the transaction infringes (Singapore’s) Competition Act 2004, which prohibits mergers that have resulted, or may be expected to result, in a substantial lessening of competition. …”
“CCCS needs to assess further the extent to which SIA competes with the merged entity along these routes, given that SIA is a JV partner with Tata Sons in Vistara…,” says CCCS.

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