Air France - Klm (EU:AF)
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The European Union's competition body will investigate the tie-up between Air France-KLM (AF.FR), Alitalia SpA and Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) to establish whether it breaches EU antitrust rules.
"The goal is to ensure that this tie-up does not harm passengers on EU-U.S. routes," the European competition commission wrote in a formal announcement circulated to the press Friday.
"An opening of proceedings means that the Commission will deal with the case as a matter of priority, it does not prejudge the outcome," it added.
The airlines are part of the SkyTeam alliance and in 2009-2010 signed a joint-venture agreement for routes between Europe and North America, coordinating their operations as well as deciding to share revenues.
"The 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 be providing competing services," the announcement said.
The EU simultaneously announced that it would close formal antitrust proceedings on eight SkyTeam member airlines -Aeromexico, Air France, Alitalia, Continental Airlines, Czech Airlines JSC, Delta Air Lines, KLM and Korean Air Lines Co. (003490.SE).
-By Matina Stevis, Dow Jones Newswires; +32 (0)2 741 1 483; firstname.lastname@example.org