Oct 24 Canada's competition watchdog dropped
objections to the proposed merger of flight operations by Air
Canada and United Continental Holdings on
routes between Canada and the United States, but barred them
from coordinating on prices or on the number of seats available
on 14 high-demand routes.
The planned joint venture between the two airlines was put
on hold last year after the Competition Bureau of Canada filed
an application to have the deal scrapped on antitrust grounds.
The bureau had identified 19 transborder routes, where
competition would be substantially reduced by the joint venture.
The airlines have agreed not to implement their joint
venture or to coordinate via existing "coordination agreements"
on 14 routes between Canada and the United States.
On these routes, the airlines cannot share commercially
sensitive information or pool revenue or costs.
"The consent agreement the Bureau reached with Air Canada
and United Continental will ensure that passengers do not face
higher prices and less choice on high-demand routes between
Canada and the U.S.," John Pecman, Interim Commissioner of
Competition, said in a statement.