The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has initiated a review of Qantas's move to acquire a 19.9% stake in Alliance Airlines (QQ, Brisbane Int'l).

Qantas said in its original disclosure that the AUD60 million Australian dollar (USD43.65 million) acquisition was only a precursor to what it hoped would be a "majority shareholding" in Alliance Airlines.

Alliance Airlines has been a long-term capacity provider to the Qantas Group and has previously flown regional services on behalf of Qantas itself.

"The ACCC is investigating Qantas’ acquisition of a 19.9 per cent stake in Alliance Airlines, to assess whether there has been a breach of section 50 of the Competition and Consumer Act," the regulator said.

Submissions are due by March 4, 2019.

Virgin Australia Holdings is expected to express its dissatisfaction with the tie-up given Alliance already operates multiple routes across Australia for and on behalf of Virgin Australia (VA, Brisbane Int'l).