Lufthansa given the green light
EU anti-trust regulators have approved Lufthansa's takeover of bmi.
The European Commission decision gives Lufthansa the go-ahead to purchase an 80% stake in the struggling British airline and its lucrative Heathrow slots.
The EC said a takeover of bmi would not affect competition between Europe's airlines.
"After examining the operation, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it," EC regulators said.
Last year bmi's founder Sir Michael Bishop exercised an option requiring Lufthansa to purchase a controlling share in the British airline.
At the time Lufthansa agreed to increase its shareholding to 80% for a reported £300m, with the remaining 20% held by Scandinavian airline SAS.
But a row between Lufthansa and Sir Michael broke out earlier this week after the German carrier asked shareholders to pump money into bmi.
Lufhansa is said to be concerned over a possible breach of a UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rule forcing an airline to have enough cash to operate for three months.
Sir Michael reportedly denied bmi was at risk of losing its licence as a result of breaching CAA regulations.
The EC approval has met one of the takeover conditions "but not all", a Lufthansa spokesperson told Reuters.
The Commission is also investigating Lufthansa's takeover of Austrian Airlines after concerns were raised over the price paid and a €500 airline restructuring plan to be paid by the Austrian government.
The first phase of the review is expected to be completed by June 17 (see ABTN news: Lufthansa asks for approval of Austrian bid).
The EC is also holding an "in-depth" probe into Lufthansa's bid for Brussels Airlines - a decision is expected on June 10.