The EC said its goal was to ensure that the tie-up on certain transatlantic routes did not constitute a monopoly.
In 2009 and 2010, several members of the SkyTeam airline alliance – Air France-KLM, Alitalia and Delta – signed agreements establishing a transatlantic joint venture focusing on the routes between Europe and North America.
These agreement mean that these parties fully coordinate their transatlantic operations with respect to capacity, schedules, pricing and revenue management, and also share with one another profits and losses of their transatlantic flights.
The European Commission will investigate whether the partnership may harm passengers on certain EU-U.S. routes where, in the absence of the joint venture, the parties would now be providing more competitive fares and services.
This could be in breach of Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) that prohibits anti-competitive agreements.
Meanwhile, the Commission has closed formal antitrust proceedings in relation to cooperation agreements between eight members of SkyTeam: Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, Continental Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta, KLM and Korean Air Lines.