The European Commission has resumed its evaluation of Boeing Co.'s plan to absorb the Embraer S.A. commercial aircraft business, and now eyes August 7 for its decision. The antitrust regulatory arm of the European Union has twice halted the inquiry, seeking more information from Boeing.
Boeing had set late last year for completing its $4.2-billion deal to acquire the Embraer unit, which designs and builds twin-engine aircraft for regional and mid-range service. A new entity, Boeing Brasil-Commercial, is intended to serve the commercial aviation "mid-market," meaning high-volume commuter and regional routes.
The acquisition and merger was preceded by Airbus SE's takeover of the Bombardier C-Series (now the Airbus A220) aircraft program. Boeing has indicated its plan to introduce a twin-engine, 70- to 150-seat narrow-body jet to compete with those aircraft.
Directors of Boeing and Embraer, as well as the regulators in the U.S. and Brazil, have endorsed the combination.
The EC was due to complete its review last fall, but in October 2019 it stated concerns that eliminating Embraer from the global aircraft market would leave airlines with only two options for single-aisle jets. Boeing provided additional details of its proposal and analysis of the market effects, as requested, and the EC review resumed in January 2020. The review was stopped again in February, seeking further information.