Friday, June 30, 2017

Airline Competition Conference, Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

Airline Competition Conference

Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy



Mon, July 17, 2017

8:30 AM – 3:00 PM EDT

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Georgetown University

3700 O Street, NW

Hariri Building, Case Room 340

Washington, DC 20057




8:30 am - 9 am Conference registration and breakfast


9 am - 9:05 am

Opening remarks

John Mayo, Professor of Economics, Business and Public Policy, Georgetown University McDonough School of Business


9:10 am - 10:40 am

Panel 1: Merger Retrospectives

Antitrust merger analysis is largely prospective. Merger retrospectives allow for an ex post assessment of the effects of a merger across a number of dimensions of competition: price, quality, variety, and innovation for the merged firms and their rivals. Merger retrospectives also allow for an evaluation of the efficacy of models used by enforcement agencies in reviewing mergers. In the context of airlines, not only merger retrospectives allow for an analysis of how a given merger may have impacted markets where merging airlines competed directly, but also those where the parties did not compete directly.


Dennis Carlton, University of Chicago

John Kwoka, Northeastern

Dave Oshinsky, FTC

Dan Rubinfeld, Berkeley/NYU

Moderator: Paul Denis, Dechert


10:40 am - 10:50 am Break


10:50 am - 12:20 pm

Panel 2: ATI: Case Studies and Consumer Benefits

Given foreign ownership constraints and the desire of carriers to offer seamless global networks, many U.S. carriers participate in alliances with foreign carriers. The U.S. Department of Transportation is authorized, under appropriate circumstances, to grant immunity from the U.S. antitrust laws (antitrust immunity or “ATI”) to these alliances. This panel will examine a number of the competitive issues associated with international alliances, including their impact on consumer welfare and the public interest, whether the rationale for ATIs has changed over time, and whether grants of antitrust immunity should be subject to a sunset provision.


Brian Keating, Compass Lexecon

Oliver Richard, GAO

Jan Brueckner, UC Irvine

Mark Israel, Compass Lexecon

Darin Lee, Compass Lexecon

Moderator: Paul Yde, Freshfields


12:20 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch


1:30 pm - 3 pm

Panel 3: Distribution Models for Airlines

Airlines offer differentiated products, and use differentiated strategies to make their products available to consumers. Some carriers rely solely on their own websites, while others participate extensively in online travel agencies and metasearch sites. In the latest formulation of the longstanding debate about whether carriers should be mandated to participate in various distribution channels, critics argue that limited distribution strategies unnecessarily increase search costs for consumers and that the government should mandate unrestricted distribution. These arguments ignore the fact that consumers already have a wide range of choices – including airline websites, online travel agencies (“OTAs”), metasearch sites, and travel agents – when comparing the fares from different airlines and selecting air carriers. There is no market failure, and competition, not regulation, will produce the most efficient, innovative, and transparent marketplace for consumers.


Dan Kasper, Compass Lexecon

Gary Doernhoefer, General Counsel, Journera

Robert W. Kneisley, Associate General Counsel, Southwest Airlines

Other panelists are TBA

Moderator: MJ Moltenbrey - Paul Hastings

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