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ACCC to approve Virgin, Delta joint venture

ACCC to approve Virgin, Delta joint venture article image
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is likely to approve a joint venture proposal by airlines Virgin Blue and Delta Air Lines for flights between Australia and the USA. The airlines seek immunity from court action that may be considered anti-competitive, as the joint venture will involve coordination on issues including pricing, revenue management, schedules, capacity and routes flown. The ACCC's chairman Graeme Samuel said authorisation would be granted once they could ascertain that public benefit outweighed any public detriment, particularly with regard to the existing players on the trans-Pacific route. "The ACCC considers that the joint venture is likely to assist Virgin Blue and Delta to compete more effectively against the incumbents on the routes, Qantas and United Airlines," he said. "The entry of Virgin Blue and Delta on the trans-Pacific routes has created strong competition on price and service in the market for passenger transport. The ACCC expects that this would continue to be the case under the new arrangements to the benefit of consumers.' The draft determination is available on the ACCC website, with submissions welcome until November 17.

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