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As CCI investigates airfares, Govt says carriers are free to fix prices

As CCI investigates airfares, Govt  says carriers are free to fix prices
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Amid airlines indulging in cut-throat rivalry in offering lowest possible airfare, the CCI is yet again probing the possible violation of competition laws, although the fair-trade regulator has failed to pin down the carriers on similar charges several times in the past.

Sources said that the CCI began its probe some time back following a reference from a Parliamentary panel in this regard, but is yet to find anything substantiative against the airlines on cartelisation charges as no one seems to be making profits through ‘the unfair pricing of air tickets’. Reacting to a question on the ongoing low-fares war among domestic airlines, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said that the decision to determine pricing should be left with the carriers. He further said that air fares are not a regulated market anywhere in the world.

“As of now, airlines choose fares...our regulation is not about putting caps and floors. There are implications of floor and caps.” The Competition Commission of India (CCI), which has the mandate to keep a tab on unfair trade practices at market place, had looked into the issue of alleged anti-competitive ways in fixing of airfares.

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