Brazil’s finance ministry has granted its approval of Grupo TAM’s proposed merger with Chile’s LAN Airlines. Although the Treasury Department’s Secretaria de Acompanhamento Economico identified overlaps on three passenger and 10 cargo routes, the merger is expected to be approved without restrictions because the airline industry is sufficiently competitive to assure the airlines will not dominate the sector. The SEAE’s recommendation will now be considered by the Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Economica, or CADE, which will issue the Brazilian government’s formal decision on the merger. Other South American airlines could also consider their own legal action against the merger, however.

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