Consolidation or Fragmentation? European Competition Law in the EU Air Transport Sector: A Policy Analysis
Polish Yearbook of International Law, Vol. 33 (2013), pp. 189-203
21 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2014
Date Written: July 28, 2014
This article analyses the priorities of European competition law in the air transport sector in the light of the ongoing process of the industry’s consolidation. The oligopolistic nature of the airline business results in a natural tendency towards its concentration. From the standpoint of regulatory oversight, the question is how to manage or counteract this tendency in order to achieve defined policy goals. In this vein, European competition law has departed from the model whereby the competitive process in itself is the priority and turned to an instrumental approach, with preference given to the welfare of customers.
This analysis will highlight three policy areas relevant to the discussed subject. It begins with antitrust law, with special emphasis on the sector-specific phenomenon of airline alliances; then discusses merger control, especially in the context of pro-competitive remedies, and finally State aid, with particular focus on the effects of the compensatory scaling-down of operations which are imposed on recipients of a rescue and restructuring aid grant.
Keywords: EU, competition law, European Union law, air transport sector, antitrust law, merger control, state aid
JEL Classification: K21, K33, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation