American Airlines Gets DOT Approval OneWorld Antitrust Immunity
February 14, 2010 - Under proposed conditions, the
Department of Transportation announced on Saturday it would grant
antitrust immunity to American Airlines and four international partners
to form a global alliance as long as the airlines agree to conditions to
protect consumers and preserve competition.
If the decision is made final, American and its “oneworld” alliance partners British Airways, Iberia Airlines, Finnair and Royal Jordanian Airlines would be able to more closely coordinate international operations in transatlantic markets. In today’s show-cause order, the Department tentatively found that granting antitrust immunity to the oneworld alliance would provide travelers and shippers with a variety of benefits.
Including lower fares on more routes, increased services, better
schedules and reduced travel and connection times.
Including lower fares on more routes, increased services, better schedules and reduced travel and connection times.The Department also said the proposed alliance would enhance competition around the world by creating competition with the existing Star Alliance and the SkyTeam alliance, which already have been granted immunity.
However, the Department also noted that the alliance could harm
competition on select routes between the
Interested parties are invited to show cause why the proposed decision should not be made final. Objections are due in 45 days, and answers to objections 15 days afterward. Following the comment period, the Department will review all filings and then issue a final decision.
American Airlines announced it has received tentative approval from the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) for its trans-Atlantic antitrust immunity (ATI) request submitted in conjunction with fellow oneworld alliance members British Airways, Iberia Airlines, Finnair and Royal Jordanian, in addition to approval of a joint business agreement proposed by American, British Airways and Iberia.
American and its
co-applicants, which submitted their application in August 2008, will
review DOT's tentative order and will respond according to the time
frame established for comments.
approval by DOT is an important step in the process that will allow
oneworld alliance members American Airlines, British Airways, and
"We appreciate the
thorough review that our request received from DOT and the U.S.
Department of Justice," said Will Ris, American's Senior Vice President
– Government Affairs. "We are pleased that DOT has agreed that it is in
the best interest of the traveling public if American and other oneworld
alliance carriers have an immunized relationship."
"American also wants to publicly acknowledge the support that its
proposal received from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), the Ranking
member on the Senate Commerce Committee; Sen. Majority Whip Dick Durbin
(D-Ill.); House Transportation and Infrastructure Aviation Subcommittee
Chairman, Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.); the members of the Texas
congressional delegation; and dozens of other U.S. Senators and U.S.
Representatives, local elected officials, airport officials, business
and community leaders, and tourism industry experts.
"American and its
oneworld partners are looking forward to competing for business over the
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