International Consolidated Airlines Group (LON:IAG), the owner of British Airways, is to have a deal on transatlantic routes investigated by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on the grounds of anti-competitive behaviour.
The regulator said it would be investigating the Atlantic Joint Business Agreement (AJBA), signed by American Airlines, BA, Iberia, and Finnair, on the grounds that the deal could amount to the restriction of competition.
The AJBA shares revenue between the airlines and allows pricing, capacity, and scheduling co-operation.
The agreement was previously investigated by the European Commission in 2009, which resulted in the airlines having to commit to making landing and take-off slots available to competitors at either London Heathrow or Gatwick for a binding period of 10 years.
The CMA said it was launching the probe in advance of Brexit in order to “review afresh” the impact of the agreement on competition “in anticipation of the expiry of the commitments”.
In an announcement, IAG said it would respond to the CMA’s review, adding that the AJBA had brought “significant benefits to millions of travellers”.
In early trading Thursday, IAG shares were down 1.8% at 580p.