, BRUSSELS, Jan 27 – European regulators opened Friday an antritrust probe into a joint venture between Delta, Air France-KLM and Alitalia on flights between the United States and Europe.
The European Commission said it will investigate “whether the partnership may harm passengers on certain EU-US routes where, in the absence of the joint venture, the parties would be providing competing services.”
The deal “could be in breach” of EU rules that prohibit anticompetitive agreements,” the EU competition watchdog said in a statement.
In the agreements signed between 2009 and 2010, the US, French and Italian air carriers fully coordinate the capacity, schedules, prices and revenue management of their transatlantic operations, the commission said.
The SkyTeam alliance members also share profits and losses on their transatlantic flights.
“This partnership represents the deepest form of cooperation within SkyTeam and aims at the alignment of the parties’ commercial incentives,” the commission said.
At the same time, the commission closed an investigation into cooperation agreements between the three airlines and five other SkyTeam members: Aeromexico, Continental Airlines, Czech Airlines and Korean Air Lines.