The European Commission (EC) has granted antitrust approval to the Skyteam transatlantic joint venture of Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson), Air France (AF, Paris CDG), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL, Amsterdam Schiphol), and Alitalia (AZ, Rome Fiumicino) following a three year-long investigation.

Though the EC had initially expressed concerns that the partnership may breach EU antitrust regulations by harming competition for all passengers on flights from Amsterdam Schiphol and Rome Fiumicino to New York and for premium passengers on the Paris-New York route, the three carriers made several concessions to placate those fears.

As such, the concessions involve: Ceding available landing and take-off slots at Amsterdam, Rome and/or New York airports on the Amsterdam-New York and Rome-New York routes; Entering into agreements which would enable competitors to offer tickets on the parties’ flights on the three routes; Entering into agreements which would facilitate access to the parties' connecting traffic on the three routes; Provide access to their frequent flyer programmes on all three routes; Allowing passengers of competitors who have no equivalent frequent flyer programme to accrue and redeem miles on the parties' frequent flyer programmes; and submitting data concerning their cooperation, which will facilitate an evaluation of the alliance's impact on the markets over time.

An independent trustee will monitor the parties' compliance with these commitments, the EC said.

Should any of the parties concerned breach any of the aforementioned commitments, the EC says it could impose a fine of up to 10% of the companies' total annual turnover, without having to find a violation of the EU competition rules.