Sunday, February 14, 2010
The Department of Transportation's tentative order granting approval and antitrust immunity to oneworld Alliance members American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Finnair, and Royal Jordanian "to more closely coordinate international operations and launch an integrated joint venture in transatlantic markets" is now available online. See Show Cause Order, Dkt. No. DOT-OST-2008-0252 (Feb. 13, 2010) (available here). Interested parties have 45 days in which to final answers to the order with 15 additional days reserved for replies.
Though it's unlikely the DOT will substantially modify the immunity order despite the criticisms the decision is sure to draw from Virgin Atlantic and the Department of Justice, the DOT may be persuaded to require additional conditions for the immunity, including further slot divestitures and carve outs. Blog readers may recall that following the DOT's tentative antitrust immunity order for the Star Alliance last April, objection s from the DOJ prompted the Department to impose limited carve outs in the final order. See previous blog posts here and here.