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Travel Agents Decry DOT Proposed Grant of Antitrust Immunity for Star

Dépèche transmise le 7 avril 2009 par Business Wire

ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a statement released in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s tentative decision to extend antitrust immunity to Star Alliance airlines (Air Canada, Austrian, bmi, LOT, Lufthansa, SAS, Swiss, TAP and United) plus Continental Airlines, a spokesperson for ASTA and the Interactive Travel Services Association (ITSA), said:

“ASTA and ITSA are alarmed that the Department would permit huge airlines to combine their bargaining power against both traditional and online travel agents, which have brought transparency, innovation, and lower fares directly to consumers. If finalized, this broad grant of immunity could be used to undermine independent travel distributors, which are critical to promoting airline competition and consumer welfare. The result will be fewer choices and higher prices for consumers. In the face of unprecedented airline consolidation and demands for extraordinary protection from the antitrust laws, the federal government needs to be more vigilant, not less, in protecting the traveling public.”

ASTA and ITSA indicated they will be filing objections to the Show Cause Order within the 21-day deadline period.

ITSA is the trade association for online travel companies and global distributions systems, and is their voice on matters of public policy.

The mission of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. ASTA seeks a retail travel marketplace that is profitable and growing and a rewarding field in which to work, invest and do business.

Business Wire

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