The European Commission's investigation of two separate proposed trans-Atlantic alliances is merely part of the process and did not come as a surprise, airline representatives say. However, an EU official appeared to contradict that position, saying, "This is not a routine matter. We don't routinely open formal antitrust investigations." The commission announced Monday it was examining proposed cooperation among Star Alliance member airlines -- Air Canada, Continental Airlines, Lufthansa and United Airlines -- as well as among members of the Oneworld alliance, which includes American Airline, British Airways and Iberia, to see if the agreements harmed consumers.
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