Before the Civil Aeronautics Board, Comments of the Council on Wage and Stability

by William Lilley on October 7, 1976
by William Lilley, Roger Mallet, Peter H. Lowry and James C. Miller

The Council on Wage and Price Stability (Council) hereby submits its comments on the request of Eastern Air Lines, Inc.  (Eastern) to hold discussions with other air carriers regarding joint procurement of future commercial aircraft. The Council has examined this proposal and has concluded that its effects would be anticompetitive, inflationary, and not in the public interest. Thus, the Council recommends that the Board deny Eastern’s application.

Eastern’s Application
In an application filed with the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB or Board) on June 22,1976, Eastern requested authority to discuss, with other air carriers, “possible agreements intended to bring about more efficient methods relating to research, design and procurement of, needed future commercial aircraft types …. ”  Permission of the Board
is needed to permit these discussions, which would otherwise be in violation of the antitrust laws.

After considering Eastern’s request, the Beard deferred action and requested further comments, noting that it was “concerned with the potential anti-competitive implications of … the discussions.” It asked Eastern to “more fully set out the specific items of discussion which are anticipated, the nature of the circumstances which prompted it to request discussion authority … [and] … why the desired objectives of the proposed discussions cannot be achieved through alternative, less anti-competitive means …. ” Eastern responded and filed comments with the Board on September 24, 1976.

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