Τετάρτη, 26 Ιανουαρίου 2011

Tourists travelling between Athens and the islands


The European Commission has prohibited, on the basis of the EU Merger Regulation, the proposed merger between Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air. Antitrust Eurocommissar Almunia claims the merger between Aegean and Olympic would have led to a quasimonopoly in Greece and thus to higher prices and lower quality of service for Greeks and tourists travelling between Athens and the islands. It is the duty of the Commission to prevent the creation of monopolies when applying the EU merger control powers conferred on it by the Member States.

EU antitrust has been transformed into a terrorist religion, which relies on pseudoeconomic theories that bestow a veneer of objectivity and credibility on EU law enforcement practices that actually rely on hunch, whim, and blackmail. On all EU antitrust cases, from mergers to price fixing, arbitrary antitrust laws lead to ill-informed juries and bureaucratic abuse. Those laws also create a perverse incentive for entrepreneurs to hold down sales volume, stop innovation, and avoid improvements in price, quality, and service; otherwise, such entrepreneurs could become the next targets of the antitrust terrorists.



Olympic Air is part of the bigger Olympic group of companies, themselves owned by Greece's Marfin Investment Group. The deal was notified to the Commission for regulatory clearance under the European Union's Merger Regulation.

Aegean provides scheduled and charter air passenger transport as well as cargo transport in Greece and on international short-haul routes. It operates from Athens International Airport and serves around 45 short-haul destinations, including to the Greek islands. It has been part of the Star alliance since 2010.

Olympic consists of three legal entities: (i) Olympic Air, active since 1 October 2009, following the privatization of the former Olympic Airlines; (ii) Olympic Handling, which offers a full range of ground handling services at 39 Greek airports, serving both Olympic Air and third party airlines; and (iii) Olympic Engineering, which is currently in start-up mode and is active in the provision of maintenance, repair and overhaul services.

Both Aegean and Olympic Air operate on routes covered by public service obligations(PSOs). Aegean has PSOs on four routes. Olympic has PSOs on thirteen routes.

The only viable definition of monopoly is a grant of privilege from the government. It therefore becomes quite clear that it is impossible for the government to decrease monopoly by passing punitive laws. The only way for the government to decrease monopoly is to remove its own monopoly grants. The antitrust laws, therefore, do not in the least diminish monopoly. What they do accomplish is to impose a continual, capricious harassment of efficient business enterprise. There is only one violator of Fourth Reich antitrust, and that's Fourth Reich itself, which does not allow VAT competition, fixing 15% floor of VAT and 25% ceiling of VAT!

As with previous airline mergers, the Commission analysed the combined effects of the proposed merger on the individual routes on which both companies operate. It received views and complaints from a large number of market participants in Greece and internationally, including consumer associations, public authorities, travel agents, airport operators, ferry operators and other airlines.

There is an Antitrust Armageddon in Europe between tiptop companies and Fourth Reich(EU). Eurokleptocrats are willing to do anything in order to get kickbacks from industry leaders. The European antitrust laws have the unfortunate consequence of harming Europeans by chilling innovation and discouraging competition. Instead of protecting competition, EU laws protect competitors who give kickbacks to kleptocrats! Kickback is the lubricant that allows a European industry to run smoothly! No European machinery can run without lubricant!

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