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Airline alliances, antitrust immunity and market foreclosure

  • Bilotkach, Volodymyr
  • Hüschelrath, Kai

This paper examines the issue of market foreclosure by airline partnerships with antitrust immunity. Overlapping the data on frequency of service and passenger volumes on nonstop routes on the transatlantic airline market with the information on dynamics of airline partnerships, we find evidence consistent with the airlines operating under antitrust immunity refusing to accept connecting passengers from the carriers outside of the partnership at respective hub airports. When an airline partnership is granted antitrust immunity, airlines outside this partnership end up reducing their traffic to the partner airlines' hub airports by 2.6-8.5 percent (depending on the specification and estimation technique involved). Our results suggest ambiguous welfare effects of antitrust immunity on some markets, where previous studies indicated airline consolidation should benefit consumers.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 10-083.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:10083
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  1. Riordan, Michael H, 1998. "Anticompetitive Vertical Integration by a Dominant Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1232-48, December.
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  4. Ali Hortacsu & Chad Syverson, 2007. "Cementing Relationships: Vertical Integration, Foreclosure, Productivity, and Prices," NBER Working Papers 12894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bilotkach, Volodymyr, 2007. "Complementary versus semi-complementary airline partnerships," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 381-393, May.
  6. Bilotkach, Volodymyr & Hüschelrath, Kai, 2010. "Antitrust immunity for airline alliances," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-080, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  7. Volodymyr Bilotkach, 2005. "Price Competition between International Airline Alliances," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 39(2), pages 167-190, May.
  8. Brueckner, Jan K., 2001. "The economics of international codesharing: an analysis of airline alliances," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(10), pages 1475-1498, December.
  9. Jan K. Brueckner & Stef Proost, 2009. "Carve-Outs Under Airline Antitrust Immunity," Working Papers 091004, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  10. Bilotkach, Volodymyr & Hüschelrath, Kai, 2012. "Airline alliances and antitrust policy: The role of efficiencies," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 76-84.
  11. Bilotkach, Volodymyr & Fageda, Xavier & Flores-Fillol, Ricardo, 2010. "Scheduled service versus personal transportation: The role of distance," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 60-72, January.
  12. Volodymyr Bilotkach, 2011. "Multimarket Contact and Intensity of Competition: Evidence from an Airline Merger," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 95-115, January.
  13. Justine S. Hastings & Richard J. Gilbert, 2005. "MARKET POWER, VERTICAL INTEGRATION AND THE WHOLESALE PRICE OF GASOLINE -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 469-492, December.
  14. Chen, Yongmin & Gayle, Philip G., 2007. "Vertical contracting between airlines: An equilibrium analysis of codeshare alliances," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 1046-1060, October.
  15. Vivek Pai, 2007. "On the Factors that Affect Airline Flight Frequency and Aircraft Size," Working Papers 070803, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  16. Arellano, Manuel & Bond, Stephen, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 277-97, April.
  17. Slade, Margaret E, 1998. "Beer and the Tie: Did Divestiture of Brewer-Owned Public Houses Lead to Higher Beer Prices?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(448), pages 565-602, May.
  18. Mullin, Joseph C & Mullin, Wallace P, 1997. "United States Steel's Acquisition of the Great Northern Ore Properties: Vertical Foreclosure or Efficient Contractual Governance?," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 74-100, April.
  19. Jan K. Brueckner & Stef Proost, 2009. "Carve-Outs under Airline Antitrust Immunity," CESifo Working Paper Series 2848, CESifo Group Munich.
  20. Jan K. Brueckner, 2003. "International Airfares in the Age of Alliances: The Effects of Codesharing and Antitrust Immunity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 105-118, February.
  21. Jong-Hun Park & Anming Zhang, 2000. "An Empirical Analysis of Global Airline Alliances: Cases in North Atlantic Markets," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 367-384, June.
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