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EU antitrust regulators halt for now probe into IAG's Air Europa deal

FILE PHOTO: A British Airways passenger plane comes in to land at London Heathrow airport

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators last month temporarily halted their investigation into British Airways owner IAG's 400-million-euro ($434.28 million) bid to buy out Air Europa, according to a European Commission update on its site on Monday.

The EU competition enforcer had been poised to hit IAG with an antitrust warning regarding the deal in a sign that it wanted the carrier to beef up its package of remedies submitted last month, sources had told Reuters.

"We can confirm that on 1 March 2024 the Commission stopped the clock in its investigation into the acquisition of Air Europa by IAG, with effect as of 9 February 2024," a Commission spokesperson said, adding the enforcer had requested certain data.

"Once the missing information is supplied by the parties, the clock is re-started and the legal deadline for the Commission’s decision is then adjusted accordingly."

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The Commission's previous deadline to decide on the deal was June 7.

IAG and Air Europa scrapped a previous deal in 2021 after their remedies failed to address EU competition concerns.

($1 = 0.9212 euros)

($1 = 0.9211 euros)

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Sharon Singleton)