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Singapore Approves the Merger of Air India and Vistara Conditionally

<p>The merger of sister airline Vistara, a joint venture between Tata and Singapore Airlines, and Air India, controlled by the Tata Group, has been allowed, subject to certain restrictions, according to a statement released on Tuesday by Singapore’s competition watchdog.</p>
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<p>In an effort to establish itself as a leading full-service airline in both the local and international sectors, Singapore’s flag carrier said in November 2022 that it intended to combine Vistara with Air India.</p>
<p>Although the merger was allowed by India’s antitrust regulator in September of last year, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) had raised some reservations about the combination’s impact on competition.</p>
<p>The watchdog said that among the airlines that operate direct flights on the four routes of concern—between Singapore and the Indian cities of New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Tiruchirapalli—the parties had the majority of the market share.</p>
<p>The parties have suggested that, in order to allay the watchdog’s concerns, capacity on the aforementioned flights be kept at pre-COVID levels, independent auditors be appointed to oversee adherence to capacity pledges, and yearly and interim reports be filed.</p>
<p>The watchdog said on Tuesday that “CCCS considers the proposed commitments sufficient to address the competition concerns arising from the transactions.”</p>
<p>Additional regulatory and foreign direct investment clearances are pending for the planned combination.</p>
<p>According to a representative for the airline, “Singapore Airlines continues to work with our partner Tata Sons to secure the remaining approvals from the relevant authorities to complete the merger.”</p>
<p>A request for comment from Reuters was not immediately answered by Air India.</p>
<p>The transaction states that Singapore Airlines would control the remaining 25.1% of the merged company, with auto-to-steel behemoth Tata holding 74.9%.</p>