Business Companies 19 Feb 2020 Antitrust watchdog f ...

Antitrust watchdog finds no proof of collusion by airlines to fix ticket prices

REUTERS
Published Feb 19, 2020, 2:06 pm IST
Updated Feb 19, 2020, 2:06 pm IST
An adverse finding could have led to a fine of up to three times the profit made in each year prices were fixed, or 10% of annual revenue
Representational image (PTI file)
 Representational image (PTI file)

Investigators with India’s antitrust watchdog have found no evidence that the country’s biggest airline, IndiGo (INGL.NS), and four rival carriers colluded to fix ticket prices, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) in 2015 ordered a probe into allegations of anti-competitive practices after similar fares were being offered on certain routes by IndiGo, SpiceJet (SPJT.NS), GoAir, state-run Air India [AIN.UL] and now-defunct Jet Airways (JET.NS).

The CCI inquiry, which included an analysis of the algorithms airlines to determine ticket fares, found that all five airlines were working independently, the three sources said.

 

“No direct evidence of cartelisation was found,” said one of the sources, who added the investigation also did not reveal any communication amongst airline executives to fix prices.

Budget airline IndiGo, the country’s biggest carrier, said in a statement “the case is without merit” and added that it has been cooperating with the investigation.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) in 2015 ordered a probe into allegations of anti-competitive practices after similar fares were being offered on certain routes by IndiGo, SpiceJet (SPJT.NS), GoAir, state-run Air India [AIN.UL] and now-defunct Jet Airways (JET.NS).

The CCI inquiry, which included an analysis of the algorithms airlines to determine ticket fares, found that all five airlines were working independently, the three sources said.

“No direct evidence of cartelisation was found,” said one of the sources, who added the investigation also did not reveal any communication amongst airline executives to fix prices.

Budget airline IndiGo, the country’s biggest carrier, said in a statement “the case is without merit” and added that it has been cooperating with the investigation.

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