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EU confirms it raids Brussels Airlines, TAP Portugal on antitrust concerns

(Xinhua)

10:03, December 20, 2011

BRUSSELS, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission said Monday it undertook unannounced inspections at two airline companies last week on suspicion that their code-share agreements have violated European Union (EU) laws.

The Commission started an investigation against Brussels Airlines and TAP Portugal in February into the possible effects for consumers of the two airlines' code-sharing deals, a practice whereby an airline sells seats on a partner's flights on routes where it does not itself operate.

However, the Commission said it has "concerns that the agreements may go further than the sale of seats on routes where the two companies are expected to compete."

The Commission fears TAP and Brussels Airlines may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices, according to a statement issued by the Commission.

"While the Commission was so far rather concerned about possible effects that code-share agreements may have had for consumers, it now has, in addition, reasons to suspect illegal collusion between the parties," said the statement.

The Commission also said its move was supported by relevant national competition authorities.

 
 
 
 
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