BRUSSELS: EU regulators accepted concessions from Delta, Air France-KLM and Alitalia on Tuesday to end an anti-trust probe into alleged illegal collusion over flights between the United States and Europe.
The European Commission will make the commitments legally binding in an effort to “ensure that passengers flying from Paris, Amsterdam or Rome to New York continue to benefit from competitive prices and choice,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
To satisfy the regulator, the airlines agreed to give up landing and take-off slots on routes to New York as well as give access to rivals on the Amsterdam-New York and Rome-New York routes.
The airlines also offered to allow rivals to sell tickets on their flights and give access to frequent-flier programmes on the routes.
The Commission opened a competition probe into Air France/KLM, Alitalia and Delta in January 2012 on fears that their cooperation harmed passengers on the key routes.
The three companies work together through the SkyTeam global airline alliance, one of several which dominate the industry.
In the alliance, the carriers coordinate the capacity, schedules, prices and revenue management of their transatlantic operations.
The SkyTeam alliance members also share profits and losses on transatlantic flights.
The Commission has imposed similar commitments on the rival Oneworld and Star airline alliances.