15-Sep-2023 12:46 PM

ACCC proposes to deny continued coordination between Qantas and China Eastern

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued (15-Sep-2023) a draft determination proposing to deny authorisation for Qantas Airways and China Eastern Airlines, and their related entities, to continue coordinating operations between Australia and mainland China. ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey stated: "At this stage we are not satisfied that the likely harm to competition from Qantas and China Eastern's proposed coordination would be outweighed by any potential benefits", adding: "We are concerned that the authorisation would provide Qantas and China Eastern with the opportunity and incentive to increase prices, compared to what they would charge absent the alliance, by limiting or delaying the introduction of additional capacity on the Sydney-Shanghai route as passenger demand continues to grow". Ms Brakey also noted: "A key difference between now and the previous authorisations is we have not been provided with sufficient evidence that the coordination would lead to additional services on other routes between Australia and China". The interim authorisation the ACCC granted to the two parties on 30-Mar-2023 to continue to coordinate their operations will remain in place until the ACCC reaches a final decision, and Qantas and China Eastern are invited to make submissions in response to the draft determination by 06-Oct-2023. [more - original PR]

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