Australian regulator approves Virgin-Tiger deal

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Australia's competition regulator has approved the takeover by the nation's second-largest airline Virgin Australia of budget rival Tiger Airways Australia.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said Tuesday it will not oppose the transaction because it is unlikely to substantially reduce competition in the domestic aviation market.

The proposed acquisition of a 60 percent stake in Tiger for 35 million Australian dollars ($36 million) still requires approval from Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement Virgin Australia could now pursue its objective of transforming Tiger Australia into an effective competitor to rival low-cost operator Jetstar, a subsidiary of Australia's largest airline, Qantas Airways.

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