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High Court dismisses appeal by Qantas and Air NZ

20 September 2004-05/034

High Court dismisses appeal by Qantas and Air New Zealand

The High Court today dismissed the appeal by Qantas Airways Limited and Air New Zealand Limited of the Commerce Commission’s decision to decline authorisation for the airlines to enter and give effect to potentially anti-competitive alliance arrangements, and for Qantas to acquire 22.5 percent of the voting equity in Air New Zealand.

Justice Hansen J and lay member Kerrin Vautier said “the appellants have not shown the Commission to have erred in concluding that the likely public benefits of the proposed Alliance would not outweigh the likely efficiency detriments.”

“This is an important decision that preserves competition in the airline market that New Zealand consumers have been benefiting from, and will continue to benefit from in the future,” said Commission Chair Paula Rebstock.

Qantas and Air New Zealand have 20 working days to appeal the High Court decision. The appellants must first seek leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal. In determining whether to grant leave to appeal, the Court has regard to whether any question of law or general principle is involved; the importance of the issues to the parties; or such other matters as in the particular circumstances the Court thinks fit.

ENDS

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