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.?