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German cartel watchdog asks for Lufthansa price data

Staff Writer |
Germany's cartel authority has asked Deutsche Lufthansa for information on its pricing policy after customer complaints on increasing prices.

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The airline confirmed talks with the cartel office and said it was fully cooperating.

Following the collapse of Air Berlin PLC (AB1.XE), which has stopped flying after declaring insolvency this summer, there are about 60,000 fewer seats available per day, Lufthansa said.

A spokesman for the airline said Lufthansa hadn't raised prices for more than a year. Because of the lack of capacity, cheaper tickets are sold early, and only more expensive tickets are available to customers booking on short notice, he said, which may give some customers the impression that prices have gone up.

Lufthansa's low-cost unit Eurowings has started flying larger aircraft on domestic routes and has raised its capacity by 25%. Swiss and Austrian Airlines - also Lufthansa units - have increased capacity as well, the spokesman said.

The cartel office said it would look at Lufthansa's price data before deciding whether or not to launch an investigation.

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