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MILAN (AP) — The European Commission on Wednesday approved Lufthansa’s takeover of Italian airline ITA under conditions to protect competition. The Italian finance minister called the deal “historic.”

Lufthansa will invest 325 million euros ($350 million) to acquire a 41 percent stake in ITA (formerly Alitalia) from the Italian government, with a total investment of 829 million euros giving it full control by 2033.

The Commission approved the deal after a year-long investigation and subject to conditions to protect competition. It pointed out that Lufthansa, ITA and their partners, for example, control most of the routes from Rome and Milan to North America.

Under the agreement, the merged company must allow rival airlines to launch non-stop flights between Rome or Milan and central European airports where competition is limited, make way for competitors on long-haul routes between Italy and the US and Canada, and allocate slots to competitors at Milan’s Linate airport.

Italian Finance Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti said the deal frees the Italian government from the obligation to pump money into the loss-making company, which the state last took over in 2021. Like Alitalia, the company has been insolvent and bankrupt and was at times controlled by Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad Airlines.

“This marks the end of the era of state aid,” Giorgetti said at a press conference in Rome.

He said the Lufthansa deal would allow ITA to expand its routes “in the interests of the Italian economy,” noting that Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci airport would become a hub for key tourism routes to North America, Asia and Africa.