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Brussels, 29 August 2000

Commission approves full take-over of Frosch Touristik (FTI) by Airtours plc.

The European Commission has approved the full take-over of the German tour operator Frosch Touristik GmbH (FTI) by the British travel firm Airtours plc, which has held a 38.8% share in FTI since 1998 (approved by the Federal Cartels Office on 25.2.2000). Now that the Commission has given the go-ahead, the UK firm increases its share to 100% and takes full control over FTI.

The take-over should not result in any distortion of competition since the activities of Airtours and FTI overlap only marginally. Whereas Airtours is one of the leading tour operators in the UK, it is only in Germany and Austria that FTI has any real share of the market. In these countries (apart from the said 38.8% of FTI) Airtours also has a subsidiary, Costa Crociere, which operates in the cruise sector. Even here, however, the combination of Airtours and FTI will not result in a dominant position as there are several much larger competitors for this market.

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