Monday, March 27, 2006

MRTPC probe keeps Jet, Sahara on edge

New Delhi: The probe initiated by the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (MRTPC) into the takeover of Air Sahara by Jet Airways is more complicated than perceived. The investigation into the Rs 2,300-crore deal will not be restricted to examining if the merger will create a monopoly. It will critically examine if the merger will result in abuse of dominance, even if it is not done deliberately.
With the deal facing choppy waters due to lack of regulatory clearances for transfer of airport infrastructure, the probe may keep Jet and Air Sahara on the edge. Government sources said the directorate general in charge of investigations at MRTPC has sought details from the civil aviation ministry on market share, fares and competition level in domestic aviation. The directorate has issued notices to Jet and Air Sahara for details of the merger. Since both companies were busy sorting out obstacles to the deal, they are expected to seek more time to provide the details.
MRTPC will examine how the merger may impact air fares. It will also see if the merger will make it less likely for consumers to benefit from competition.
27/03/06 Economic Times/Gireesh Chandra Prasad & G Ganapathy Subramaniam
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