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TUI and First Choice Merger Forces Sale of Irish Assets

May 4, 2007 By: Jennifer Merritt Travel Agent

On Friday, European travel company giants TUI and First Choice, which agreed to merge in March, said they would sell their Irish assets so that the proposed merger wins the approval of the European Commission. The EU's competition case team said the merger between the German-based TUI and First Choice in Britain could create a potential dominance in Ireland. Both companies "have agreed to consider specific undertakings to address this issue, including the potential sale of one of their Irish businesses," the tour operators said in a joint statement. As a result of this, the EU's investigation into the proposed merger will need to be extended by 10 business days. Both TUI and First Choice said they "remain confident that the proposed merger will be cleared by the European Commission." Should the merger come to fruition, the company is estimated to generate revenues of $24 billion.

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