Lufthansa spared antitrust probe after rival’s collapse

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s antitrust agency has decided against opening proceedings against Lufthansa over steep price increases following the bankruptcy of former rival Air Berlin last year.

Air Berlin, which was once Germany’s second-biggest airline, ended operations in October. That left Lufthansa with a de facto monopoly on several domestic routes for a time.

Federal Cartel Office president Andreas Mundt said Lufthansa tickets were an average 25-30 percent more expensive than a year earlier following Air Berlin’s bankruptcy, prompting many complaints. But he said the increase, “though significant, does not justify launching abuse proceedings.”

Lufthansa and budget carrier easyJet bought parts of Air Berlin, and easyJet is now operating on German domestic routes.

Mundt noted that Air Berlin’s bankruptcy reduced the available capacity and easyJet’s arrival then brought down prices.

This article provided by NewsEdge.