The European Commission has decided to open two formal antitrust proceedings in relation to cooperation between certain airlines on transatlantic routes. The first investigation concerns both existing and planned cooperation between four current or prospective members of the Star Alliance – Air Canada, Continental, Lufthansa and United. The second investigation relates to proposed cooperation between three members of the oneworld alliance – American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia. The two sets of agreements provide for the coordination of the airlines' commercial, marketing and operational activities on transatlantic routes (principally routes between the EU and North America). The level of cooperation in question appears far more extensive than the general cooperation between these airlines and other airlines which are part of the Star and oneworld alliances. The scope of the Star Alliance investigation covers both the existing transatlantic cooperation between Lufthansa and United and between Lufthansa and Air Canada as well as the proposed four-party agreement between them and Continental. The Commission will assess the compatibility of each of these airlines’ cooperation with European rules on restrictive business practices and whether these joint activities may lead to restrictions of competition on certain transatlantic routes. In its analysis, the Commission will take into consideration any demonstrated consumer benefits which may arise from the parties’ cooperation.