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OFT says ‘no grounds for action’ in Virgin-Cathay probe

The Office of Fair Trading has closed a probe into whether Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic illegally co-ordinated pricing on flights between London and Hong Kong.

The investigation, involving the exchange of sensitive fare data from 2002 to 2006, was shut because there were “no grounds for action,” according to the OFT.

Cathay Pacific would have been immune from fines in the two-year-old case because it was a whistle-blower.

“During this investigation the OFT gathered and conducted a thorough review of a significant body of evidence,” the regulator said.

“In light of the parties’ representations, which included additional evidence, and having carried out a number of further investigative steps, the OFT has concluded that there are no longer grounds for action.”

Virgin Atlantic said it was pleased the OFT concluded its investigations and that the case is now closed.

The airline said it had maintained throughout that there had been no infringement of competition laws.

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