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EU approval for Delta's Virgin Atlantic Buy

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June 20, 2013 10:26 AM EST | AP

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AMSTERDAM — European Union regulators say they have approved a deal between Delta and Virgin Group that will see the pair team up on North Atlantic routes.

Under the deal, which was announced in December, Delta will buy Singapore Airline's 49 percent stake in Virgin's British subsidiary, Virgin Atlantic, for $360 million. Virgin Group retains a controlling 51 percent.

The deal gives Delta a way to expand its service at London's Heathrow airport, where takeoff and landing rights are limited and Virgin holds a strong strategic position.

The Commission, the EU's executive arm, said the deal does not pose an antitrust threat, as the venture will have to compete against strong rivals, notably British Airways and American Airlines.

The Commission added that it cooperated with the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Transportation in reviewing the proposed deal.