The general secretary of the Antitrust, in a hearing in the Chamber, announced that the investigation, opened at the end of 2022, to verify whether the price dynamics of some airlines were determined by illicit concentrations will be closed (1).
It is worth remembering the same Antitrust investigation, opened a few weeks ago, to verify whether the algorithms for determining sales prices have influenced the market. Investigation opened following an initiative by the government which in August approved a law decree essentially on the high cost of flights to/from Sardinia and Sicily. We believe that the very high pieces that are practiced for the end-of-year holidays will not be affected unless unusual and unlikely times justify this investigation. We are therefore talking about the near future.
Having clarified that there are no concentrations, does anyone really believe that the algorithms that are sometimes used to profile the context and the passenger and determine the final price are responsible for the expensive flights?
Any improper use of algorithms (which in themselves are not illegal) this would be the case in which the passenger was charged a fare that differs from what was advertised… it is impossible to find a fare advertisement that does not say, for example, “starting from 9.99”. That if it were written that the flight costs almost 10 euros and then the passenger pays 50, then yes there would be misleading advertising… but that’s not what happens.
It seems to us that the government is looking for a scapegoat in the airlines for the high cost of flights, so as to free itself from any responsibility. Just as it did with the high cost of petrol, the average price cartels and petrol stations… with the result that fuel prices have fallen/increased independently of the cartels and TAR and Council of State rulings, thanks to a market (apart from excise duties , immovable…) that the government does not control.
For the high cost of flights, when the government tries to intervene directly on tariffs, it only causes damage and exposes itself to violations (and related sanctions) of EU competition.
The underlying problem is: the high costs and restrictions that airlines face when operating at Italian airports. A situation, for example, which has significantly favored, and continues to favor, only the strongest, such as Ryanair (44% passengers transported in Italy) which, consequently, exerts a major influence on the market.
Does the government have the desire and ability to intervene to further liberalize the national market? We don’t see any other solutions.
1 – Askanews of 07/12/2023
Here is the video on Aduc’s YouTube channel
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