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Carnival To Face Antitrust Objections To P&O Bid

Carnival, the world's biggest cruise line, is facing antitrust objections on three fronts...

Carnival, the world's biggest cruise line, is facing antitrust objections on three fronts to its bid to buy P&O Princess, with shipbuilders, port authorities and travel agents all expressing concerns to European Union investigators.

The Miami based Carnival may be forced to sell assets, including brand names, to complete the $6.8 billion acquisition as a result of the EU's investigation. P&O has been trying to block Carnival's advances by pursuing a combination with the number two operator Royal Caribbean Cruises.

A combined Carnival and P&O would have sixty two ships and double its berths to 87,020, a forty nine percent market share in North America and thirty eight percent worldwide share, according to Lehman Brothers. P&O Princess and Royal Caribbean would have 41 ships and 75,000 berths.

?There is not a lot of competition in the cruise sector as it is and if Carnival gets P&O it would be a dominant player in the market,? said Eric Joyau, who manages 36 million euros ($33 million) at Darier Hentsch in Geneva. ?To get antitrust approval, they'll probably have to sell a brand or a number of ships to a third party.?

Author: Neftegaz.ru