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EU probes further into Oneworld plans

The European Commission is to investigate further the commitments offered by members of the Oneworld airline alliance to tackle antitrust concerns over some long-haul routes, the European Union's executive said.

The Commission, the competition watchdog of the 27-nation bloc, launched an investigation last year after the airlines announced plans to cooperate on some trans-Atlantic routes.

The airlines have set out plans to manage jointly schedules, capacity and pricing as well as to share revenues on routes between North America and Europe. The Commission said it was concerned whether consumers would benefit from the deal.

“British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia offered commitments in order to alleviate the Commission's concerns,” the EU executive said in a statement.

“This proposal requires further investigation before the Commission reaches any conclusion as to the next steps,” it said.

The Commission said parallel investigations into proposed cooperation between members of Oneworld's rival, Star Alliance, and members of SkyTeam were still under way.

The Commission said it would send the commitments offered by Oneworld alliance to a number of market players for comments as part of the assessment process before deciding whether the proposed commitments will be suitable to remedy its concerns. (Reuters)