The European Commission has launched two formal antitrust investigations in relation to co-operation on certain transatlantic routes.

The EC is concerned that  the proposed joint venture between British Airways, American Airlines and Iberia and the current agreement between Air Canada, Continental, Lufthansa and United could be anti-competitive.

In a statement the EC said it was concerned about the level of the agreements which coordinates the airlines’ commercial, marketing and operational activities on transatlantic routes. It says the level of co-operation seems more extensive than the general  co-operation between airlines which are part of the Star and Oneworld alliances.