Lufthansa Group faces antitrust complaint over airfares, GDS by ETTSA

    European Technology and Travel Services Association (ETTSA) and German travel agency Verband Internet Reisevertrieb (VIR) filed (19-Dec-2018) a joint complaint with the EU Commission antitrust authority for “abuse of dominance” by Deutsche Lufthansa AG concerning “discriminatory and exclusionary practices against independent distributors of airline tickets, including GDSs and their travel agency users”. “Lufthansa Group systematically leverages its dominance in the German and other national markets by refusing to supply its cheapest fare classes through GDSs, meaning the majority of travel agencies cannot provide them for booking to consumers”, ETTSA stated, adding consumers using independent distribution channels have paid more than EUR1 billion in surcharges. ETTSA argued Lufthansa restricts competition in air ticket distribution and airline services markets. The association also argued Lufthansa “imposes” its own technological distribution solutions on independent distributors which affects innovation in the distribution market. [more – original PR]