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Chilean court to look into LATAM Airlines joint venture

Staff Writer |
A Chilean court accepted a petition from a business group to examine the effects on free competition of agreements LATAM Airlines signed American Airlines Group and European airline group IAG.

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In the petition, the Chilean Association of Tourism Companies asked Chile's TDLC anti-monopoly court for an "absolute rejection" of the accord, saying "it will cause grave harm for competition, seriously affecting the tourism market, travel agencies, tourism operators and consumers."

LATAM said the agreement conformed to anti-monopoly rules and would benefit consumers, expanding its network to more than 420 destinations in the United States, Canada and Europe.

"This type of agreement has already been approved by diverse free competition authorities throughout the world, including the United States and Europe, who have recognized its benefits," LATAM said in a statement.

In January, LATAM signed joint business agreements to deepen its ties with American Airlines and IAG's British Airways and Iberia, all members of the Oneworld Alliance.

If approved by authorities, the agreements would help the airlines coordinate schedules and prices for flights, similar to the North Atlantic revenue-sharing agreement that already exists between IAG and American.

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