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Germany, Lufthansa Prove Tougher Foes for Vestager Than Google

  • Lufthansa must yield slots despite partial EU bailout victory
  • Merkel’s government tops EU charts for Covid-19 state aid
Margrethe Vestager
Margrethe VestagerPhotographer: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg

Margrethe Vestager, the scourge of Silicon Valley, found a tougher foe from within the European Union this week, as Deutsche Lufthansa AG fended off some of her demands to secure the region’s biggest pandemic bailout.

Vestager, the EU’s powerful antitrust czar, allowed Lufthansa to keep more planes in Frankfurt and Munich than she initially wanted and gave the airline more time to prepare for outside competition at its key hubs. But the 52-year-old Dane needed to be flexible as political pressure mounted after the company’s supervisory board complained that her first deal went too far.