2015 Airline Roundtable

Dec 10

2015 Airline Roundtable

Date: December 10, 2015
Location: National Press Club, Washington DC

On Thursday, December 10, the American Antitrust Institute hosted an Airline Roundtable where experts in antitrust and regulation from government, industry, advocacy, and academia will discuss major competition enforcement and policy issues facing the airline industry. The 2015 Airline Roundtable -  Airline Competition at a Crossroads: Refocusing Policy to Address Competitive Challenges - focused on challenges to competition, with the goal of refocusing antitrust and regulatory aviation policies to promote rivalry, innovation, and consumer benefits.

The past decade has been one of rapid consolidation among U.S. airlines. Four large carriers now dominate the domestic markets. Evidence of tighter capacity, rising fares and ancillary fees, and growing airline influence over distribution continue to raise concerns among competition enforcers and policymakers. A decade of consolidation and change also highlights the challenge of market entry at slot-constrained domestic airports, and the connection between domestic and international competition, with growing questions surrounding open skies agreements, airline alliances, and antitrust immunity.

The Airline Roundtable examined these issues, particularly how market participants along the supply chain are responding to competitive changes. The day opened with a Year in Review, followed by a moderated morning panel and roundtable discussion. This panel, Taking Stock of Competition - the Airlines, Distribution, and the Consumer, focused on the industry competitive landscape and challenges faced by market participants, and feature experts from the airlines, distribution channels, and consumer community.

An afternoon panel and final roundtable discussion followed a keynote luncheon. The afternoon panel, Refocusing Competition Policy – Market Concentration, Entry, Remedies, and Antitrust Immunity, examined the tools of competition enforcement, the roles of public and private enforcement, and regulatory policy mechanisms for addressing potentially anticompetitive conduct, remedies, and promoting competition more broadly.