Competition – press release

CMA asks EC to examine airline passenger service systems merger

The CMA has asked the European Commission to investigate the merger of 2 providers of airline passenger service systems.

Amadeus and Navitaire both supply IT solutions, including passenger service systems, to airlines and other customers in the UK, Europe and across the world. Amadeus IT Group S.A. plans to acquire the information technology solutions, including the passenger service systems, business of Navitaire LLC.

The proposed acquisition qualifies for investigation by multiple EU Member States, including the UK, and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) believes that in this instance it would be appropriate for the European Commission (EC) to undertake a single investigation on behalf of those Member States that wish to transfer jurisdiction to it.

Such a step is procedural and does not prejudge the EC’s ability to determine, if it accepts jurisdiction, whether competition concerns arise in the UK as a result of the merger.

Other EU Member States have 15 working days from receipt of the CMA’s request to determine whether to join the request. The Commission then has 10 working days in which to notify the CMA whether it has accepted jurisdiction in this case.

The CMA will publish on its webpages a non-confidential version of its request in due course.

Notes for editors

  1. The CMA is the UK’s primary competition and consumer authority. It is an independent non-ministerial government department with responsibility for carrying out investigations into mergers, markets and the regulated industries and enforcing competition and consumer law. From 1 April 2014 it took over the functions of the Competition Commission and the competition and certain consumer functions of the Office of Fair Trading, as amended by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
  2. The CMA is making this request under Article 22 of the EU Merger Regulation (Council Regulation 139/2004). Article 22(1) provides that: ‘One or more Member States may request the Commission to examine any concentration […] that does not have a Community dimension […] but affects trade between Member States and threatens to significantly affect competition within the territory of the Member State or States making the request.’ Article 22(2) states that ‘Any other Member State shall have the right to join the initial request [made by another Member State] within a period of 15 working days of being informed by the Commission of the initial request.’ The CMA believes that the merger meets the threshold in Article 22(1). Other Member States may then wish to join it.
  3. Guidance on the circumstances in which the CMA is likely to use Article 22 is contained in chapter 18 of the CMA’s jurisdictional and procedural guidance (CMA2), as well as the EC’s Notice on Case Referral in respect of concentrations (2005/C56/02) and the European Competition Authorities’ (ECA) Principles on the application, by National Competition Authorities within the ECA, of Articles 4(5) and 22 of the EC Merger Regulation.
  4. Enquiries should be directed to Siobhan Allen (, 020 3738 6460).
  5. For information on the CMA see our homepage, or follow us on Twitter @CMAgovuk, Flickr and LinkedIn. Sign up to our email alerts to receive updates on merger cases.