The Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) initiated an investigation of the companies Aerovías del Continente Americano SA (Avianca) and Prices RES SAS for the alleged breach of the conditions imposed by the entity to a resolution that in 2018 authorized them, in a conditional manner, the integration operation to operate jointly in the intermediation market in the commercialization and reservation of tourist packages at a national and international level.
(You may be interested: Statement of objections to 4 firms for excess whey in milk that they sell)
The control and surveillance body indicated that it was able to show that, at least, from the month of November 2018 and until March 2021, the two companies would have offered a series of promotional bonuses in which, for the purchase of air tickets in the Avianca.com website, discounts were granted on the purchase of packages or services offered on the Avianca Tours page, a brand that these companies jointly exploited in developing the business integration operation.
And he pointed out that with this conduct presumably the non-compliance with the second condition of Resolution No. 60515 of August 22, 2018, which provided that the offer of national or international air tickets of The weather in Avianca it had to be made to potential and current competitors of the integrated company, in this case materialized through the joint exploitation of the Avianca Tours brand, but without applying discriminatory conditions for equivalent operations that would put competitors at a disadvantage.
(Also read: These are the milk producers that the SIC investigates for the use of whey)
With this, according to the control body, this type of practice would have granted an unjustified advantage to Avianca and Price RES to the detriment of the other companies that participate in this market in the intermediation, commercialization and reservation of tourist packages.
The action began after the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce received a complaint from the Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies (Anato), in which it was argued that the two companies would be failing to comply with the second condition of the integration operation, that sought to mitigate the risk of possible vertical effects of the integration operation.
For this case, the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce said that it may impose fines of up to 100,000 monthly legal minimum wages in force, that is, 100,000 million pesos for each infraction of the free competition regime, and to those who have facilitated, collaborated, authorized, promoted, promoted, executed and/or tolerated anticompetitive behaviors, up to 2,000 minimum wages, that is, 2,000 million pesos for each infraction.