Monday, October 18, 2010
The Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport expressed its displeasure last week with the U.S. Department of Transportation's tentative decision to deny Delta and Virgin Blue's approval and antitrust immunity for their planned joint venture. See Australian Gov't Dep't of Infrastructure & Tourism, Dkt. No. OST-2009-0155 (Dep't of Transp. Oct. 13, 2010) (available here). Central to the Australian Government's complaint is the fact it signed an Open Skies agreement with the U.S. in 2008. According to the filing, Australia "expected its carriers to receive the full benefits and rights available under open skies agreements, including . . . the opportunity to obtain anti-trust immunity (subject to satisfying relevant competition requirements in both countries)."
Meanwhile, Delta and Virgin Blue have filed an extensive reply to the DOT's show cause order denying the carriers antitrust immunity. Interested readers may access the 81-page document here.