Click to join an upcoming live event

Turn off Ads (click)

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu
Travel News

Antitrust immunity for Continental is opposed by US Justice Department

Written by editor

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department opposes Continental Airlines Inc.’s broad request for antitrust immunity to work more closely with United Airlines and other carriers on international service.

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department opposes Continental Airlines Inc.’s broad request for antitrust immunity to work more closely with United Airlines and other carriers on international service.

The department says the airlines should get more limited immunity. It argues that broader immunity could hurt competition on other routes including between the U.S. and China and even raise fares within the United States.

The impact of the Justice Department stance, disclosed in a regulatory filing late Friday, was hard to know for certain. The final decision on Continental’s request for immunity to join United’s alliance of other airlines rests with the Transportation Department.

The Transportation Department gave preliminary approval to the request several weeks ago, but soon after that the Justice Department signaled that it wanted a chance to study the proposal.

Continental, the nation’s fourth-largest airline, wants antitrust immunity to cooperate with United and other Star Alliance airlines in setting prices and schedules for international service.

Other members of the Star Alliance include US Airways, Lufthansa and Air Canada.

The Justice Department said the benefits that Continental claimed from antitrust immunity could be achieved without immunity.

At the same, the department cautioned that immunity for Continental and United to work more closely could hurt competition on U.S.-Beijing routes. The department said letting Continental cooperate with Air Canada and European SkyTeam members could leave consumers with fewer choices and higher fares on travel between the U.S. and Canada and on some routes to Europe, including New York-Geneva and Chicago-Frankfurt.

The department also said closer ties between United, the No. 3 U.S. carrier, and Continental “raises significant concerns” about hurting competition within the United States.

The Justice Department’s opposition to immunity for Continental could also effect AMR Corp.’s American Airlines, which wants immunity to work closely with British Airways and Spain’s Iberia on trans-Atlantic routes. American, BA and Iberia belong to an alliance called oneworld.

A third alliance, SkyTeam, including Delta and Air France, already has antitrust immunity on trans-Atlantic routes, as do the Star Alliance members other than Continental.

Houston-based Continental expects to leave SkyTeam on Oct. 24 and join Star quickly.