WASHINGTON – Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) sent a letter to Transportation Department Secretary Foxx and Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging them to investigate the potential anti-competitive implications of comments made by Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr.
“On June 8, 2015, at a panel of the IATA conference with more than 100 executives from competing airlines in the audience, Mr. Spohr announced that Lufthansa was planning to impose an $18 surcharge on price comparison websites,” the letter reads. Later questioned about other airline reactions to his statement, Mr. Spohr said, “It's a first step and I believe others will follow.”
“Lufthansa’s conduct, encouraging competitors collectively representing the vast majority of the market to follow Lufthansa’s lead in raising prices, raises the question of whether they have run afoul of the Sherman Act,” the letter explains.
Sens. Lee, Klobuchar, and Blumenthal called on DOT and DOJ to “thoroughly investigate this matter and, if you find that there has been a violation, to address it with an appropriate remedy.”
Lee and Klobuchar are the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights.