Emirates cooperating in South African antitrust probe

downloadEmirates airline says it is cooperating with an investigation by South Africa’s competition watchdog into claims it offered travel agents in South Africa incentives to divert sales from its competitors.

“We take compliance with competition law very seriously wherever we operate, and we are cooperating fully with the commission’s enquiry,” an Emirates spokesperson told Gulf News by email on Tuesday. The spokesperson declined to comment when asked who had brought the claim against the airline

“As this is an ongoing matter, Emirates will not make any further comment at this stage,” the statement said.

South Africa’s Business Day newspaper reported on June 12 that the Competition Commission was looking into claims Emirates had violated the country’s Competition Act. The airline is under investigation for “abuse of dominance” under Section 8 of the act, Business Day reported.

Section 8 states that companies cannot “engage in an exclusionary act” including “inducing a… customer to not deal with a competitor.”

Emirates has been under investigation since April 2015, said Competition Commission spokesperson Itumeleng Lesofe, according to Business Day.

“Unfortunately, I am unable to tell when the investigation will be completed, but substantial work has been done,” Lesofe reportedly said.

In 2014, Emirates won a court ruling in South Africa to launch a fourth daily flight to Johannesburg. South Africa’s Department of Transport had said an official who was not authorised awarded the flight. Emirates also flies daily to South African cities Cape Town and Durban.

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