EC has antitrust concerns in AA-BA-Iberia alliance

The European Commission said Friday that it had some antitrust objections to the proposed co-operation among the American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia on transatlantic routes as it could cut competition.

The European Union's antitrust watchdog informed that it had sent a statement of objections the concerned three airlines.

Speaking on the issue, the EC competition watchdog said, "We believe the quickest way to robust competition and more travel choices for consumers is to ensure that all three global airline alliances can compete on an equal footing."

The American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia are the members of the Oneworld alliance and jointly manage schedules, pricing and capacity plus share revenue on the transatlantic routes between North America and Europe.

The airlines can defend against the objections, at which regulators will decide if the plans are compatible with European antitrust rules.

International airlines are blocked from making big mergers because of antitrust laws and due to some national laws that obstruct foreign ownerships.