On December 14, the American Antitrust Institute will host its second annual Airline Roundtable. Experts in antitrust and regulation from government, industry, advocacy, and academia will discuss major competition issues facing the airline industry and consumers of air travel. This year's Roundtable will focus on challenges to competition, with the goal of focusing antitrust and regulatory aviation policies to promote rivalry, innovation, and consumer benefits.
The day will include a "Year in Review," two panels – each followed by a roundtable discussion – and a keynote luncheon. Agenda and registration information are available here.
Panel 1: Promoting Competition in U.S. Markets - Assessing Open Skies, Antitrust Immunity, and Market Access
We will take a look at existing and emerging challenges to opening markets to competition. Panelists will explore the issues and debates surrounding the major tools of competition enforcement and policy, including: Open Skies applications by foreign carriers; the regulatory framework governing grants of antitrust immunity for the international airline alliances; and market access questions regarding the focus of antitrust enforcement on promoting entry and proposals regarding privatization of the air traffic control system. Panelists will examine the effectiveness and balancing of antitrust and regulatory policies in facilitating competition and consumer-facing aviation policy.
Panel 2: The State of Air Travel Distribution
We will focus on the importance of air travel distribution and ongoing developments that might affect competition within and across distribution channels. Panelists will unpack policies involving: access to airline fare and availability data; surcharges on itineraries purchased outside airline websites; a “standard” distribution model; and other initiatives that can potentially affect the playing field for the distribution of air travel. The discussion will tie in antitrust and regulatory tools for addressing competition and consumer issues surrounding distribution.