Hans Kristoferitsch, Stefan Huber, Bernhard Kofler-Senoner
Following a legal dispute spanning many years, the EU General Court in Luxembourg issued a judgment on 13 May 2015 rejecting both appeals brought by airline Niki in connection with the acquisition of Austrian Airlines by Lufthansa. The seller at the time ÖIAG (meanwhile ÖBIB) relied upon the European Union law expertise of CHSH both with regard to the tender procedure and the proceedings before the General Court. The General Court issued two judgments on this complex set of issues, both of which emphasised the admissibility of the sale: the two highly complex proceedings concerned, on the one hand, the question of whether the negative purchase price paid by Lufthansa constituted prohibited state aid. The ECJ ruled that it did not. With regard to the merger control proceedings, the issue of the negative effects of such a concentration, as deemed relevant in terms of competition law, came to the fore during the course of the second proceedings. The judges in Luxembourg also said this was not of relevance.
"We're extremely pleased that in issuing its judgments, the General Court in Luxembourg entirely shares our legal opinion and it has confirmed that our analysis was correct from the very beginning", Hans Kristoferitsch, partner in the European Union law team at CHSH. "It's a major achievement that such a large project could be brought to a successful conclusion after many years and that this has also been confirmed by the "highest legal authority in Europe", said partner Bernhard Kofler-Senoner who specialises in antitrust law.
The team at CHSH which oversaw the proceedings before the General Court included both partners who specialise in European Union law Dr. Hans Kristoferitsch and Dr. Stefan Huber, antitrust law partner Dr. Bernhard Kofler-Senoner and Univ.-Prof. DDr. Peter Lewisch.