State Seeks to Stop Aeroflot's S7 Bid

The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service will seek to block Aeroflot's bid for the government's 25.5 percent stake in airline S7, the head of the service, Igor Artemyev, said on Vesti-24 television Thursday.

"We have concerns about transferring the blocking stake in the private company to Aeroflot. A monopoly could form in this situation … We will try to block this deal," Artemyev said.

Last month, Aeroflot sent a letter to the Transportation Ministry asking for its help in gaining the stake in S7, previously known as Sibir Airlines.

On Wednesday, the ministry said it would support Aeroflot's acquisition of the stake, which the state-controlled carrier has been seeking in order to consolidate the domestic air cargo industry, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Artemyev, whose service must approve large acquisitions, especially in strategic industries such as aviation, said, "If Aeroflot holds this blocking stake, competition will be limited."